A former Wilkinson County teacher addressing school board members at their Tuesday meeting alleged the school system has a “double standard” in how employees who violate ethical standards are treated.
Ahmad Thorpe resigned as a Wilkinson County Middle School teacher in May 2010 amid an investigation into alleged inappropriate sexual text messages sent to male students, according to a report compiled by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, a watchdog agency for educator ethics.
Thorpe entered into a consent order with the commission and his teaching certificate was suspended for one year. He admitted to having offered two male students money in exchange for sex, according to the consent order.
Thorpe told the board members Tuesday that despite his passing a criminal background check to volunteer with the University of Georgia Extension service he’s been told he can’t work with Wilkinson County students, a duty that’s part of his current job.
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Admitting his ethical violations, Thorpe compared his situation to that of Superintendent Aaron Geter, who was reprimanded by the Professional Standards Commission in 2015 for not reporting inappropriate relationships between staff and students to the commission.
“You have got to stop this issue from spreading any further,” Thorpe told the board, referencing the alleged “double standard.”
The board chairman said the group would issue a formal response to Thorpe in the future.
After discussing other matters, the board withdrew into executive session at the end of the meeting.
About two dozen people sat in the audience during the meeting.
One of them, Dana Allred, a parent, said “Amen” multiple times during Thorpe’s speech.
Speaking after the meeting, Allred said she hadn’t been aware of Geter’s reprimand before she read about it in the news last month.
She said she attended the board meeting to see if the reprimand was mentioned.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.
Clarification: An earlier version of this story included incorrect information about Thorpe’s involvement with the University of Georgia Extension service.