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Florida

State claims DCPS did not report Douglas Anderson sexual harassment case

jacksonville, florida – In a Wednesday letter to Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), the vice-principal of the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Safe Schools (OSS) said DCPS accused sexual harassment mentioned in the former Douglas Anderson School’s termination notice. claimed to have failed to report the case of Art music teacher Jeffrey Clayton.

Clayton was recently indicted and pleaded not guilty to two charges against a student by an authority figure, lewd, lewd touching of certain minors, and unlawful use of two-way communication devices.

In a letter from OSS, Vice Chancellor Scott Strauss cited “substantial prior incidents” of school district leaders in Clayton’s dismissal, but those prior incidents were in the state’s School Environmental Safety Incident Report ( SESIR) said it did not appear to have been submitted to the system.

“OSS has confirmed a SESIR incident reported by DCPS for the 2021-22 school year, but was unable to identify this incident. As you are aware, school districts are required to report all SESIR incidents to the Department of Education. There is,” said the memo. “Please check to see if the school district has filed a SESIR Incident Report related to substantiated allegations from November 2021 within 5 days of receiving this letter. If not, explain why and the actions the school district is taking to ensure that all SESIR incidents are properly reported.

DCPS leaders were given five days to see if incidents were being properly reported, and if not, to review reasons for omission.

DCPS communications director Tracy Pearce told News4JAX that the district’s files show the district reported the incident to the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Professional Affairs, but SESIR has not yet filed for another state’s office. He said it was a reporting process.

“We got the letter,” Pierce said. “We are investigating this issue and will respond within the requested timeline.”

The Chair of the Duval County Board of Education issued the following statement:

“Today’s letter from the Florida Department of Education further clarifies why the school board is already calling for a comprehensive external investigation,” said Dr. Kelly Coker. “We need to determine the cause of the incident involving Jeffrey Clayton and completely review the district’s practices and policies to ensure that we achieve our overarching goal of keeping our students safe.”

This is not the first time DCPS has been criticized Failure to file a legally mandated report of school-based crimeA grand jury held in 2019 found that Duval County Public Schools Massive Underreporting of Crime for four years.

In response, the district committed to overhauling the way crime is tracked and maintained on campus, and the district committed to maintaining full compliance moving forward.

Ann External Audit of District Reporting Practices was completed in February to ensure that these changes were made and that the school district is fully following legally mandated reporting.

Gene Nichols, a local attorney who was not involved in the case, said the matter could be a problem for Duvall School.

“If someone has been victimized by this before, you can expect them to come forward and say nothing has been reported. Schools are already locked down because of the

Nichols said this is unlikely to affect Clayton’s criminal situation, but instead could become a problem for the district, especially if the victim or his family decides to file a lawsuit.

“I’d say everyone sees it,” he said. “Not only are the attorneys for these potentially harassed children clearly seeing it, but the state attorney’s office is investigating who committed potential crimes against people there. I wonder what the school is doing.”

DCPS said it reported previous incidents to the Department of Children and Families, but the school’s reporting system operates differently.

“The cause of the incident involving Jeffrey Clayton must be determined and a complete review of the district’s practices and policies must be undertaken to ensure that we are achieving our overarching goal of keeping our students safe,” the DCPS said in a statement. Stated.

Read the full note from the Vice Chancellor of the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Safe Schools below.

Dear Superintendent Green:

The Department’s Office of Safe Schools (OSS) recently learned that Jeff Clayton, a teacher at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, was arrested and charged with violating Florida statute section 800.101(2)(a). . Students by authorities, including soliciting or engaging in sexual activity.

In its March 28, 2023 dismissal letter to Mr. Clayton, the district documented previous incidents in November 2016 and November 2021 in which Mr. Clayton had “improper physical contact with a student.” I admit that I did.

Regarding the November 2021 incident, Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) said that Mr. Clayton “inappropriately made physical contact with a student and/or when he crossed his arms in front of a student. and inappropriate communication.” She sat on the student’s shoulder, rubbed her back, and said she was beautiful.

DCPS launched a Title IX investigation and offered supportive measures, including removing students from Mr. Clayton’s class and discussing the possibility of contactless agreements.

In November 2021, the School Environmental Safety Incident Reporting rule (SESIR) defined sexual harassment as:[u]is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment, cause discomfort or humiliation, or unreasonably interfere with an individual’s school performance or participation; Sexually oriented verbal, nonverbal, or physical behavior by an adult or student. See Rule 6A-1.0017, FAC. and 6A-19.008, FAC

OSS has confirmed a SESIR incident reported by DCPS in the 2021-22 school year, but was unable to identify this incident. As you know, the school district is required to report all her SESIR incidents to the Department of Education.

Please check to see if the school district has filed a SESIR Incident Report related to the substantiated allegations from November 2021 within 5 days of receiving this letter. If the school district did not file his SESIR report for this incident, please explain why and what. Steps taken by the school district to ensure that all SESIR incidents are properly reported.

thank you

Note to DCPS Leadership – Scott Strauss, Vice Chancellor, FDOE Office of Safe Schools – April 19, 2023

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2023/04/19/state-alleges-dcps-failed-to-report-douglas-anderson-sexual-harassment-incident/ State claims DCPS did not report Douglas Anderson sexual harassment case

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