Two arrest warrants have been taken out against a Dougherty County School System employee for two counts of simple battery.
Officials with the school system say that Monroe High School Band Director Jamar Smith has been charged with two counts of simple battery against two fifth grade students at Morningside Elementary School.
The warrants were signed by Judge Victoria Darrisaw and bond was set at $1,000 per charge.
The following email was sent from DCSS Assistant Chief of Police JC Phillips to system administrators:
As you all know, on Friday, September 20, 2013 our office initiated an investigation at Morning Side Elementary School in reference to allegations of physical and verbal abuse of a class of fifth grade students there. The allegations were that the music teacher, Mr. Jamal Smith, who is also the band director at Monroe High School, used insulting and profane language toward the class, slapped one male student three times in his face and shoved one female student into a wall.
The investigation, so far, has included a field interview of the principal of Morning Side, reviewing of several written statements that were collected by the principal and a video recorded interview/interrogation of Mr. Smith. The statements written by several students and one para professional were consistent and very incriminating. Based on the written statements and Mr. Smith's own verbal statements, it is clear that Mr. Smith made inappropriate comments to the students. It is also known that Mr. Smith made the students do pushups and hold books over their heads for extended periods of time. Based on the statements and Mr. Smith's admissions, he did push the female student into the wall and he did put his hands on the male students face.
At present, it is the intent of our office to criminally charge Mr. Smith with two counts of misdemeanor Simple Battery. Unless there is some extremely compelling reason to change that course of action, the warrants will be taken and signed early in the week of September 23rd. Mr. Smith will be given the opportunity to turn himself in on the warrants in a timely manner. If there are any questions or any clarity needed please contact our office.
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