Greenville superintendent to defend handling of abuse seen on video

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Greenville School District Superintendent Leeson Taylor will appear before the school board Nov. 29.

Greenville Public School District

Greenville School District Superintendent Leeson Taylor will appear before the school board Nov. 29.

Greenville Superintendent Leeson Taylor will have a chance to go before the school board and explain how he handled reports of a teacher abusing a special needs student at the high school.

The school board voted last week to allow Taylor, who is currently on administrative leave with pay, to appear before the board Nov. 29. At that point, they will make a decision about whether to keep him on board or fire him.

Taylor will provide his response to the board in executive session.

School Board President Loretta Shannon said the board has several questions that were raised after receiving the attorney’s investigative report.

“There are questions. Did he report it in time?” Shannon said, noting the board found out “when everyone else in the world did.”

The Mississippi Department of Education mandates that administrators report incidents of child abuse within 10 days of the incident. According to state law, any public or private school employee with knowledge of an incident of child abuse must immediately report that information, first by phone, to the Department of Human Services. They must then follow up with a written report.

District spokesman Everett Chinn referred all questions to Shannon, and a call to Taylor was immediately returned Monday.

On Oct. 6, a Greenville parent posted a video showing Linda Winters Johnson dragging a special needs student by her hair across the gym floor. The video was shot by another student in the building. The video went viral, gaining millions of viewers in the days after.

Following the video, the teacher shown in the video, Linda Winters-Johnson, was fired.

The Associated Press reported Washington County District Attorney Dewayne Richardson has said he intends to pursue charges against Winters-Johnson. She will also appear before the Mississippi Department of Education on Dec. 7 where she will face having her license revoked or suspended.