Principal busted for daughter's free lunch

Mugshots of the Bakers provided by the Dougherty County Jail. / From file

Morningside Elementary School principal Gloria Baker and her husband John Baker turned themselves in Thursday morning. The two are accused of falsifying documents so their daughter could receive free lunches at another school.

"It was brought to our attention by an anonymous whistle blower that the child was receiving lunch and they know the parent makes a certain amount of money that would not allow the child to be eligible for free lunch," said Dougherty County School Police Assistant Chief J.C. Phillips.

According to the public records Gloria Baker is pulling in more than $90,000 dollars a year, coupled with her husband's income as a construction worker it's well over the $24,000 a year minimum to qualify the child for the free lunch program.

Police say the child has been signed up for at least three years and because of that each parent faces three charges.

"They're misdemeanor charges. And they've already gotten a thousand dollar bond, they've turned themselves in under warrants and they've already been released," said Phillips.

Thursday parents at Morningside say they were shocked to hear the news.

"Dealing with a situation like that it makes the school look bad. I was thinking about transferring," said Shineaque Williams.

"It's wrong on her behalf but I don't think she should lose her job or get a felony charge behind it," said Marvin Jenkins.

Baker has already been suspended with pay during the investigation. Her future will be decided at a later date by the superintendent and the school board. Dougherty County School System officials say a federal audit could be coming.