I-TEAM: Duval County Schools superintendent’s job in jeopardy amid Douglas Anderson scandal, sources say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Duval County Schools Superintendent’s job could be in jeopardy, according to three News4JAX I-TEAM sources familiar with the matter.

This comes amid scandal at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, which saw a longtime teacher, Jeffrey Clayton, arrested last month and charged with lewd behavior involving a student.

Clayton’s personal records released yesterday show school leaders were aware of complaints about him for years.

The chair of the board at DCPS said she was appalled by what those records revealed. In response, she’s called for a board meeting next week, where Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene could be facing consequences.

In a Wednesday letter to DCPS, the vice chancellor of the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Safe Schools alleged that DCPS failed to report instances of sexual harassment cited in Clayton’s termination notice. The OSS gave the district five days from reciept of the letter to provide an explanation for the report it says was ommitted from the state’s crime reporting system.

Nearly 200 pages of Jeffrey Clayton’s personnel and disciplinary records show he was accused of touching students at least three times before he was arrested.

Now, Clayton is accused of kissing a student during a singing lesson in his school office in March. Records show Clayton had previously been reprimanded for using his office for private lessons in 2006 and closing the door during student/teacher meetings in 2008.

An attorney representing the student Clayton is charged with touching provided a text exchange to the I-TEAM— he says it’s between Clayton and the student a few hours after the March 17 lesson where police say Clayton kissed her.

It appears Clayton texted the girl about aphrodisiac foods.

The texts also say, “I keep thinking about you” and “I’m anxious to hear what you really think about what happened this afternoon.”

2002 Douglas Anderson grad Shyla Jenkins was disgusted when we showed her the texts. “I’m blown away,” she said.

Jenkins also said Clayton treated students poorly for years. “There was no accountability for this man’s actions,” she said.

Clayton’s personnel records show he was reprimanded in 2016 after a student reported he “made her feel uncomfortable when he patted her on the back, rubbed her shoulder and told her, ‘wow, you look so beautiful today.’”

School district investigators found Clayton did the same thing in 2021 - “placed his arm on the shoulder of a student, rubbed her back, and told her she was beautiful.”

Jenkins said, “I really don’t understand how he got to stay because I’ve never seen a teacher have that many complaints and still be teaching. Like, it blows my mind. So it talks to...a greater culture that was there.”

The school district has also been accused by the Florida Department of Education of not reporting the 2021 touching incident involving Clayton to the state, as they were required to do.

A district spokesperson says they will be responding to the state’s request for more information.

About the Authors:

I-TEAM and general assignment reporter

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.