Investigation Concluded In Talbott Elementary Teacher Incident

Information was released today regarding an incident that happened recently at Talbott Elementary School. Director of Schools, Dr. Shane Johnston, has transferred a first grade teacher Donnalyn Taylor from Talbott Elementary School to the Jefferson Academy (alternate school) for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year. The teacher in question self reported sliding a chair across the classroom in frustration and that a piece of the chair may have broken off and struck a student.

The Jefferson County Department of Education conducted an internal investigation as well as reporting the incident to the Tennessee Department of Child Services and the Tennessee State Licensing Board for review. The Department of Child Services concluded that there was no further action to be taken and review from the State Licensing Board is still underway. Because the Department of Education found no intent to harm a child, the teacher( who is a experienced teacher with a good record) was suspended without pay for three days. The investigation also concluded that no child was struck by pieces flying from the chair after speaking to the mother of a student that was suspected of being struck by debris. The mother, upon questioning of the child, determined that the situation had been over dramatized by the student when first relaying the particulars of the incident.

Director Johnston noted that, regardless of a better outcome than was originally reported, the actions of Taylor were out of line and not representing Board Policy regarding professional conduct. He also acknowledged the strong record of Taylor and her years in the classroom. Though the transfer is for the remainder of the school year, Johnston stated that he would consider another elementary school assignment for the teacher in the future.

Source: K. Depew, News Director