The deadline for the 34 educators to accept a plea deal has come and gone. Judge Jerry W. Baxter set January 6, 2014 as a deadline for educators involved in the history making APS cheating scandal to accept plea deals. As of today, 17 have taken the plea deals and 17, want to have a trial by jury. The trials are schedule to start in May, 2014. The plea deals were open from December 3, 2013 to January 6, 2014.
Judge Jerry W. Baxter has extended the timeline on the plea deals for the remaining educators. The educators will have until Friday, January 24, 2014. Perhaps more will come forward including former Superintendent Beverly Hall. Educators that have entered guilty pleads will testify for the state. These educators will be testifying against their fellow colleagues and co-workers. With so many preparing to go to trial in May, 2014, proceedings could last six months or more.
There are numberless of witnesses scheduled to testify for the state. A trial by a jury of your peers may prove to be not in the best interest of those pleading not guilty and not taking the plea deals for 1st time offenders. For many jail time will be on the agenda if they are found guilty of charges against them.
Beverly Hall’s physical health is being questioned. She is dealing with breast cancer. Also former D.H. Stanton Principal Willie Davenport lost her battle with cancer last year. The cheating scandal is taking it’s physical impact on those involved. The scandal is placing a lot of stress on educators, families and friends regardless of guilty or not guilty pleads. The attorney fees are also being computed. Each defendant has his or her own attorney.
Regardless of the aftereffect and the duration of the trial, students in APS, their parents, APS community and the city of Atlanta are the real victims. The numberless of students are receiving academic and counseling support from Atlanta Public Schools. Many of the scars are not visible, but will have long term internal consequences. Children first.
‘The criminal justice system, like any system designed by human beings, clearly has its flaws.' -Ben Whishaw