DCSS begins discussion on principal's sexual battery allegations
Behind closed doors in the Superintendent's Office on Friday, Dougherty County School System (DCSS) officials discussed how to move forward with allegations of sexual battery against Southside Middle School Principal Joey James.
"Anything that could be in the harm of student or employee is seriously considered and handled in a very professional and a very organized way," says RD Harter with Public Information at DCSS.
In March, James was arrested for alleged sexual battery after turning himself into law enforcement. He now faces two counts of sexual battery.
Harter says the case will be handled as a personnel matter. He says action they take regarding James can range from no charges if no foundation of proof is found to losing his license to practice.
"If there is some proof or evidence to indicate wrong behavior took place, at the minimum it could be suspension," says Harter.
Dougherty County School officials say when it comes to handling cases like this involving sexual battery, it could involve a lot of long discussions, and some citizens say they hope the school system listens to both sides of the stories carefully.
"I hope they look at both sides of the stories and not just one because they probably had a relationship going on and she probably got upset at him about something then ran and got him in trouble," says Albany Citizen Gregory Miller. "If he did do it or if he didn't do it, they should look at all of the evidence and judge wisely."
"Because the issue has been brought forth you would have to pursue it," says Dougherty County Citizen Harold Roper. "First of all in case the teacher was innocent you would have to clear him. In case it was a legit case, you would have to pursue it."
As of Friday evening, no decision had been reached by the school system.
DCSS officials say James is currently under a 10-day suspension with pay.
FOX 31 will continue to bring you updates in this case as they're made available.