Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.31.52 AM11 Atlanta teachers  and school administrators who were involved in the state-wide cheating scandal have been convicted and could face up to 20 years in prison. But some feel, because 10 out of the 11 are Black teachers, that they will not get a fair sentence.

Last week a prayer meeting was held  in an Atlanta church with clergy and civil rights activists appealing for leniency. 

“We are dismayed and disappointed at the actions of Judge Baxter to handcuff our educators and to haul them off to jail as if they’re hardened criminals,” said the Rev. Frank Brown, president of the Concerned Black Clergy.

Jurors in  case found 11 of 12 defendants guilty last week of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a charge that carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Some were also found guilty of additional felonies, such as influencing a witness, theft by taking, false swearing, or making a false statement or writing.

The judge in the case has set the sentencing to April 13th, for 10 of the 11 convicted educators for April 13. One, who is pregnant and weeks from her delivery date, is likely to be sentenced in August. All of the teachers face a minimum of five years, but the judge also has the discretion to sentence them to probation or suspend the sentences. But from comments made last week, it doesn’t seem as though he’s going to be lenient.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter stated: “They are now convicted felons, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t like to send anyone to jail … but they have made their bed and they’re going to lie in it.”

Most people feel that because the teachers are Black, they will probably end up being sentenced to quite some time, and the calls for leniency are being ignored.

Clutchettes, do you think the judge will be fair in the sentencing?

Image Credit: AP


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  • Anthony

    No child left behind is designed to shut down predominately black schools, and force black educators out of work. Somehow, we have got to rework our culture to turn out children who study as hard as the immigrant blacks we read about in Clutch. If that happens, you won’t have teachers resorting to fraud to keep their jobs.

    • BillipPhailey

      The first thing the black underclass can do is speak [standard English] to their children and listen to them, instead of yelling commands at them.

  • iteachman

    Release these teachers. Take their teaching license and let them go home. NO JAIL TIME FOR ATL TEACHERS!

  • iteachman

    As a teacher I really think there should be a national teacher strike. Teachers should just walk off the job and let the bureaucrats who keep passing this facile, asinine education legislation take over the job. They can employ the Teach for America novices but they quit every 2-3 years. That way they can continue using their teaching experience as community service/volunteer work on their résumé before giving up their savior complex and moving on to their real careers, where they may actually have to be certified or have adequate credentials to do the job. Let the bureaucrats teach and try to survive on $1800 a month after working 50-60 hour weeks and still supply pens, pencils, paper, and snacks for 80+ students. Let them work concession stands at games, come early and stay late for bus duty, chaperone field trips on weekends, lead fundraisers, attend workshops on their own dime, supervise clubs, and provide bell-to-bell engaging instruction and still remain cognizant enough to recognize which child is being abused, which has an undiagnosed exceptionality, or which is being bullied and then complete the required paperwork on ALL of it. Then after all of that, tell them they will be fired if student test scores don’t improve……Or a law could be passed that makes it mandatory that unemployment, crime, and poverty rates decrease under each lawmaker;s term and if not, they’re fired..what a novel idea!