Dougherty Co. teacher suspended for improper search of student

ALBANY -- The Georgia Professional Standards Commission last week suspended Sylvester Road Elementary teacher Deborah Flood for 15 days without pay for not having a witness present when she searched a student.

According to a PSC suspension report, the Dougherty County School System filed a complaint last year with the PSC alleging that Flood had conducted a physical search of "a mildly autistic kindergarten student's genital area without a witness or making an administrator aware of a situation that required a physical search of a student."

The PSC's findings of fact stated (Flood) noticed a student "walking in a funny manner" and took the student to the restroom. Several witnesses corroborated that (Flood) admitted to checking the student by "pulling the student's shorts down and touching her inner thighs, the back of her legs and lower bottom area."

Flood was reassigned to another school and is currently serving her suspension, which runs from March 4 to 25 and has a second disciplinary hearing at 10 a.m. Friday before the Dougherty School Board.

Flood's attorney, Howard Stiller, said Wednesday that he regards the second hearing "as patently unfair and it appears the school system is trying to take a second bite of the apple."

Stiller added that he may file suit to stop the board hearing.