GCPS recommends teacher involved in fight to be fired

Gwinnett County Public Schools officials have recommended that a Radloff Middle teacher who was allegedly the instigator in a fight with a female student last week be fired.

CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks signed a letter that was sent to Katrina Walker, listed as a seventh-grade language arts teacher, on Nov. 21 that was obtained by the Daily Post on Tuesday through an open records request. Wilbanks wrote that Walker’s employment contract be terminated for “willful neglect of duties; inciting a student to violate a policy or rule of the Board of Education” after an altercation with a student on Nov. 20.

“You have engaged in inappropriate and unprofessional conduct in the presence of students and to such a degree that you are a threat to the school environment,” the letter stated.

A due process hearing before the Gwinnett County Board of Education about the incident is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Dec. 10. Walker did not reply to an e-mail sent on Tuesday afternoon.

Walker was suspended, effective on Friday, with pay pending an investigation.

Radloff Middle students who observed the incident may testify at the hearing that Walker called the student a “b——” and told the student that she would “hurt her.” Students may also testify that Walker grabbed the neck of the student, scratched her and pushed her, the letter stated.

The letter stated that Walker, “pushed, shoved and scratched” the student across the cafeteria “uttering profanities with such vehemence that an assistant principal took physical control of the student who was the object of your physical attack.” A male student also intervened and guided Walker to another section of the cafeteria, the letter stated.

The letter stated that Walker’s conduct threatens the orderly operation of the school and welfare of students and staff.

“Your explanation for this unprofessional and dangerous behavior was that the student had disrespected you and that made you angry,” the letter stated.

The letter stated that several witnesses may be called at the hearing, including Wilbanks, several Human Resources employees, Radloff Principal Sarah Skinner, Assistant Principal Chris Corbitt and School Resource Officer John Liddle. Liddle may testify to a criminal warrant being issued for Walker’s arrest.

As part of the investigation, two HR staffers said they may testify that Walker admitted she pushed the student, the letter stated.