Teacher Suspended for Talking With Reporter About Sex Incident

By: A teacher at a rural north Louisiana school who told a newspaper about fifth-grade students having sex on a classroom floor said Monday he was suspended from his job for four days after making the story public.

Michael Walker said the purported reason for the suspension that was given to him in writing was that he did not attend a physical education class during the last hour of a recent school day. But Walker said he and another teacher routinely alternate taking their classes outside for physical education.

Walker, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, said Union Parish Schools superintendent Judy Mabry had privately admonished him after he told a Monroe newspaper about the sex investigation. "She told me ... that I wasn't the school spokesperson," Walker said.

Walker and his lawyer, Charles Kincaid, said they want the suspension -- for four days last week -- removed from his record and are considering legal action against the Union Parish school system.

"We're always hopeful that something can be resolved. There has been some written correspondence between myself and the general counsel of the school board,'' Kincaid said. "Litigation would be a last resort."

A message left with the School Board office seeking comment was not returned Monday.

Last week, five fifth-graders were arrested after an investigation into the allegations at the Spearsville school, Union Parish Sheriff Bob Buckley said.

The alleged incident took place March 27, when a group of fifth-graders were inadvertently left alone in a classroom during a school assembly, Union Parish officials have said.

Four students - two 11-year-old girls, a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy -- were arrested on charges of obscenity, a felony, after having sex. An 11-year-old boy who was the alleged lookout was charged with being an accessory after the fact, Buckley said.

Walker said he helped investigate the incident, interviewing some of the students involved. He said he notified a reporter at The (Monroe) News-Star about what happened. He said a news release about the students' suspensions had been issued but it did not detail the sexual allegations.

Had he not talked to the reporter, Walker said, ??I don't believe it would have become public to the point that it has."


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