ARKADELPHIA, AR – Three employees of Louisa E. Perritt Primary School recommended by the superintendent for termination will wait out suspensions for the rest of the school year and be allowed to return in the fall.
The punishment from the school board came as the Department of Human Services investigates the employees for failing to report abuse among both kindergarten and first grade students.
Late Wednesday night, the school board unanimously voted to suspend Alison Carter, a Pettitt kindergarten teacher, for the rest of the school year. Carter will have to pay for 15 hours mandatory training and counseling on matters of reporting a student's welfare to law enforcement. The school board also gave her a letter of reprimand.
This is the same punishment given to the other Perritt employees Ruby Henry and Shawna Childs.
After the hearings for the three were completed, Dr. Jeff Root, the president of the Arkadelphia Board of Education, released the following statement:
The past several weeks have been extraordinarily difficult for the entire Arkadelphia community. With the hearings complete and training in mandatory child abuse reporting reinforced for all grade levels, the district continues to take measures to make our schools as safe as possible. The board offers our continuing support to Superintendent Donnie Whitten, our principals, other administrators, faculty, parents and students. Our focus is now on a time of healing, planning and increased communication with parents and all concerned citizens. As we begin these efforts, we'll be asking the community to share their concerns and also pledge to help us address our needs and move forward as a district.