Longview ISD says employees accused of student abuse no longer with district

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 1:15 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2022 at 1:26 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Longview ISD has released a statement regarding the indictments of six former employees accused of various forms of abuse to students at J.L. Everhart Elementary.

Employees assigned to the classroom -- Cecilia Gregg, Paula Dixon and Cythia Talley -- were released from employment in October 2021 immediately upon the district’s discovery of the actions, according to the statement. LISD says Cassandra James and Linda Lister were administrators at the school and resigned in lieu of termination. LISD says Priscilla Johnson was a teacher who frequented the room and she also resigned.

LISD says they reported the conduct of the employees to the State Board of Educator Certification.

All parents of students within the JLE classroom were made aware of the concern when originally reported, the district says. Supports were put in place to address each student’s needs, resulting in all students, with the exception of one, remaining at the JLE campus and returning for the 2022-2023 school year having met their prior year goals, according to LISD.

LISD released statements from the following officials:

Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox: “I am both shocked and deeply saddened by the scope of charges resulting from LPD’s investigation. The allegations, if proven to be true, are contrary to the standards of ethics required of all educators and inconsistent with the expectations we have that all employees place the care and wellbeing of our students above all else.”

ISD Board President Michael Tubb: “The actions of these individuals, while clearly unacceptable and worthy of sanction, were isolated to one classroom and should not be a reflection on the remaining educators employed by our District. At Longview ISD, we are blessed to have teachers and paraprofessionals who work above and beyond every day to ensure the success of students and we are particularly proud of those dedicating their life’s work to special needs children. We will not allow these unfortunate allegations and events to dissuade or dilute the commitment of so many hard-working educators.”

East Texas Advanced Academies Board President, Jud Murray: “ETAA is disappointed in the actions of these individuals whose alleged criminal conduct falls far below the expectations of ETAA Board of Directors and leadership team. We look to the judicial process and the SBEC process for the next right outcomes for these individuals. ETAA joinsthe school district in their commitment to maintain the trust of the parents and students involved. We also continue to recognize the overall high caliber of LISD educators assigned to ETAA campuses. They are committed to student well-being and education.”

James Brewer, ETAA Interim Executive Director: “I am confident that the actions taken by the LISD special education department since October have remediated any concern related to the provision of services in the life skills classroom at JLE. We go into the 2022-2023 school year excited about the opportunities to be provided for all ETAA students. All of our efforts are geared toward enhancing the safety and success of our entire student population.”

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