Duval Schools reassigns professional standards supervisor amid misconduct reporting probe

Board sets Friday meeting to discuss ‘concerns resulting from recent events at Douglas Anderson’

DCPS meeting over Douglas Anderson controversy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Public Schools announced Wednesday the reassignment of Reginald Johnson, who had served as the district’s supervisor of professional standards.

“The supervisor of our professional standards office, Reginald Johnson, has been reassigned pending a professional standards investigation,” a district memo said. “As with all such investigations, the presumption of innocence applies.”

The district did not -- and can not -- release too much information about why it made the move because it’s a personnel matter and therefore kept private until that process is completed.

But the responsibilities of that office provide some insight.

Johnson supervised the Office of Profession Standards, which is the office that oversees keeping discipline records, advising administrators on how to handle misconduct situations, investigating employee misconduct, and serving as the main point of contact with state agencies like the state’s Office of Professional Practices, the Florida Department of Education, the Department of Children and Families, and even law enforcement agencies among others.

So, while it’s not confirmed that the reassignment was directly due to the ongoing investigation at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, that is the position that would have had a big hand in overseeing it.

The move also comes one day after the state’s commissioner of education sent a letter to DCPS Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene, which threatened to slash her salary. The office claimed Greene failed to, in a timely manner, report 50 cases to the state’s Office of Professional Practices going back several years.

“It is completely unacceptable that DCPS did not timely report these cases as required by Florida Statute,” Florida Department of Education Commissioner Manny Diaz wrote, adding that the conduct is “putting the health, safety, and welfare of students in jeopardy.”

Greene responded Wednesday saying she was surprised and angered to find the district had 50 case files that had only been sent to the state recently.

It’s still unclear what those 50 cases entail, but News4JAX has requested more information about them.

The School Board website says the process of reporting employee misconduct would fall under Johnson’s purview, and a day after Greene was made aware of the missing reports, Johnson was reassigned.

On the School Board’s website, this is how the complaint process is supposed to work:

  • Once a complaint is filed, it goes for review to determine if the matter will be handled at the school level or with the district -- which is School Board staff.
  • They are reviewed by the assistant superintendent, the human resources office and eventually by the superintendent -- and then given to the School Board for action.

It appears in many cases that has not happened and that’s why Greene responded with her statement, which read in part:

“I was surprised and angered to learn that our office of professional standards apparently was in possession of 50 delinquent cases files, which they recently sent to the state office of professional practices. ... I agree completely with the commissioner that delays in reporting cannot be tolerated.”

News4JAX crime and safety analyst Lakesha Burton said she was also surprised about the lack of action and the number of complaints not sent to the state. Her husband, Gregory Burton, is the head of the school board police department. We wanted to talk to him on camera, but district PR staff would not allow it.

School Board members have called for a meeting to take place Friday at 2 p.m. with the listed subject being, “board member concerns resulting from recent events at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and mandatory reporting requirements.”

Those “recent events” at DA began with the arrest of longtime music teacher Jeffrey Clayton, who is charged with multiple counts of lewd conduct with a student and other charges. That sparked an ongoing investigation, which has led to the removal of three more teachers from classrooms at DA.

Prosecutors are working to interview more than 140 former and current students as part of the investigation.

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