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3 teachers resign after superintendent's letter

6:02 PM, Jul 19, 2011   |    comments
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Dr. Davis sent this letter to 178 educators implicated in the APS cheating investigation, telling them to resign or face termination.

ATLANTA -- Three Atlanta Public School teachers have resigned this week after receiving a letter from the system's superintendent.

The letter was brief, but to the point.

APS Superintendent Erroll Davis told 178 educators implicated in the district's cheating scandal that they will "lose the opportunity to serve the children of Atlanta Public Schools." He then went on to give them a choice: quit or be fired.

"By this communication we give you the opportunity to resign your employment with APS prior to official notice of my intent to recommend your termination," he wrote in the letter obtained by 11Alive News.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: CRCT Cheating Investigation

The teachers, principals and other educators have until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to submit their resignation. Those who do not will receive another letter, to be sent as early as Thursday, informing them of termination proceedings against them.

"Many teachers feel like it's unfair," said Verdaillia Turner, president of Atlanta Federation of Teachers. "There are many teachers who feel that they've been put into a situation: do or die. There are teachers we know that complained in the past as to what administrators were asking them to do."

Turner said 50 of the teachers implicated are AFT members. She warned those members to expect a letter like this.

"We knew that basically the next step would be that if any action would be taken, we would have to step in," she said. "Everyone is entitled to due process, so we want to make sure that due process is given."

Those receiving the letters will have an opportunity to appeal their termination, a process that could take several weeks. During that time, they will be placed on paid administrative leave until a final decision is rendered.

Davis gives specific instructions to those choosing to resign, directing them to bring "all equipment issued to you by APS, including laptop, iPad, ID badge or other property."

Davis has already replaced two principals and four administrators named in the report.

"I can say to the best of my abilities that none of those implicated will be in the classroom when school starts this fall," he told 11Alive in an interview before the letters were distributed.

APS spokesman Keith Bromery said the district hopes to have those positions filled by the time school starts in August.

Taylor said she directed members to contact AFT as soon as they received any such letters from the district.

"I do expect these teachers to fight," she said. "They're not rolling over."

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