(Photo provided by Pickens County Sheriff’s Office)
JASPER, Ga. – According to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, a Pickens County teacher is in custody today, January 31, 2020, for crimes relating to enticing children for indecent purposes.
At this time, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has passed along a Release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as it relates to the arrest of a Pickens County Junior High School teacher:
A Pickens County Junior High school teacher has been arrested on four counts of enticing a child for indecent purposes. The teacher is Gilbert Suarez IV, 38 of Cartersville, Georgia. Suarez surrendered himself to the Pickens County Detention Center on Friday, January 31, 2020. The Pickens County School Board placed Suarez on administrative leave at the beginning of the investigation.
On Saturday, January 25, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Cleveland Office was requested by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office to assist with an investigation into a Pickens County Junior High schoolteacher soliciting inappropriate photographs from female students. During the investigation, three different females were identified as being approached by the teacher, all were under the age of 15. Fortunately, the incident was reported before any photographs were provided.
Upon completion of this investigation, the case will be provided to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
JASPER, Ga. – The Pickens County Board of Education has called three meetings in less than 48 hours of each other regarding the subject of the Superintendent position.
This morning, at 8:59 a.m., the notice came from the Pickens County Board of Education for an Emergency Special Called meeting an hour later at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the Superintendent position. This coming after last night’s meeting that was called just over 24 hours earlier. Less than an hour after this morning’s meeting finished, another meeting has been called for tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m., giving slightly less than 24-hours notice.
Today, at 10 a.m., the Emergency Special Meeting was held to accept the resignation of Pickens County Schools Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson. The meeting was called to order and the agenda amended to delete an executive session and approval of executive session minutes, moving straight to the discussion as the superintendent resigned.
Board Attorney Phil Landrum III said, “Mr. Chairman, at your direction, and at the board’s direction, I have prepared a settlement agreement between the superintendent and the board. I presented that to all parties last night. It is my understanding that the Superintendent is tendering his resignation subject to the conditions upon the terms of that agreement.”
The vote came immediately after this at 3-2 to accept his resignation. Joeta Youngblood, Donna Enis, and Tucker Green voted for accepting the resignation. Steve Smith and Sue Finley voted against accepting his resignation.
Right before the meeting adjourned two comments were made. Sue Finley stated, “I am heartbroken. Dr. Wilson has done a fantastic job leading this county. He has turned around a lot of the issues that we had when he came in. He is one of the kindest men I know. He is one of the smartest men I know. When teachers demonstrate weaknesses that need to be corrected, they are brought into their administrator’s office. Their weaknesses are outlined and explained. And they are given a plan to remediate those weaknesses. They are rarely summarily dismissed. I believe that Dr. Wilson should have been afforded this courtesy and he was not. I completely disagree with this decision to release him. I believe that this is at least one backward step for our county. And I am so sorry, Dr. Wilson. I am very embarrassed that our county is going to be portrayed this way and that you’ve been treated this way. But, unfortunately, I am part of the minority.”
Additionally, Steve Smith commented saying, “I totally agree, this is the most egregious act I have ever witnessed on a board. And for it to come out of nowhere is shocking. I was as shocked yesterday, uh, I absolutely do not support the release of Dr. Wilson and I absolutely think our board has taken a ten-year step backwards. I think our school system has suffered because of this decision. I admire you Dr. Wilson.”
While few citizens were on hand for the meeting, some who were present spoke privately with Dr. Wilson. One citizen was overheard asking why the meeting was called as an emergency. Another was heard saying this subject should have been handled after the new year.
Landrum did say in the meeting that he had presented the settlement the night before this meeting was called 61 minutes before it was held. Finley was also discussing the topic with citizens saying that the board has gone through four superintendents in six years.
Dr. Wilson declined to comment at the moment, instead saying that he would offer a written statement later.
Additionally, the meeting was closed without any interim or stand-in appointed. Some would speculate that the notice sent out at 11:04 a.m. today, calling for a new meeting at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, is to address the issue as Wilson’s signatures are no longer valid on any board documents, agreements, checks, or other legal actions.
FYN can confirm that yesterday’s meeting delivered an ultimatum of “resign or be terminated.” The meeting, called to order at 3:00 p.m., held over two hours of executive session in which Dr. Wilson spent the majority of the time excluded from, but then later included in the final part of the executive session.
Further on that topic, it is FYN’s understanding that the settlement agreement is likely to have been different from the termination clauses specifically in the amount of money involved. However, FYN is attempting to confirm this as we submit an Open Records Request for the settlement agreement.
Stay with FYN as new details become available in this story and we await comment from Dr. Wilson and look to tomorrow’s last-minute meeting as the board deals with the situation mere days before Christmas.
One of the key issues today is education. Everyone should be interested in all children getting the best well rounded education available. Children are the future and it is concerning to have a growing populace that purposely remain ignorant due to the cookie cutter approach to public schools.
My question is why have the American people allowed education to become a government led agenda?
Initially, when America was young, there was no guideline for schooling. In England, schools were available for the privileged, but not the masses.
The American spirit formed its own brand of education. Children were taught at home or in the homes of neighbors. As communities grew, the one room schoolhouse was brought into play. This building housed the school, served as a community center and often a church on Sunday.
There was usually a home or a “Teacherage” close to the schools, so that male teachers’ families were close to the school and able to assist the teacher with his duties. Unmarried female teachers were usually boarded with someone in the community.
Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the “Little House” books, became a schoolteacher two months before her sixteenth birthday. She taught in a one room schoolhouse.
The one room school system allowed for the parents and the community to decide on the curriculum and the values taught in the schools. The community that sponsored their own school would have been up in arms if anyone from the government had tried to interfere with their wishes. They accepted some guidelines, but interference would not have been tolerated.
The one room school allowed for a child to go further than his or her own age level. If the child was advanced, they could finish their lessons and listen to the next age level’s work. The community school usually only went up to the eighth grade. This provided basic education.
If a student wanted further education, they could go to a central high school within the county or state.
Standardized tests did not come into play until much later, if you went to school and attended and passed all of your classes, you could graduate.
This system spawned many a leader within the United States.
My maternal Great Grandfather John Thomas Jones donated land for a two room schoolhouse here in Paulding County, Georgia. My Grandmother Clara M. Jones and her older brother Hershel Jones taught there for a period of time.
Though his scholastic career was interrupted by family needs on the farm, my Uncle Herschel returned to school later. He later completed all of his studies and graduated from Oglethorpe University. He went on to be the principal in the Paulding County school system.
Herschel Jones Middle School in Dallas, Georgia is his legacy to education, and a tribute to the power of the one room school.
Instead of relying on the government to educate children, parents need to be in charge of the local educational system. More thought needs to be given to how each parent is personally is going to provide education to their children. In this way, the values of the parents, not the government are instilled
Taking back the power of education is key to developing free thinkers.
The Federal Government’s interference has led to teaching to tests and leaving students behind on important basics, especially American History. It is an indictment of the public school system every time some reporter asks college age students questions, like who is on the $ 20 bill. The school systems have taught our young people to be ashamed of our great nation and have misled them on how our country was founded.
When school systems insist on teaching values that are contrary to the values taught at home, it is unacceptable.
It is time to take your children and their education back from those who are running their own agenda.
JASPER, Ga. – Pickens County Schools start back Tuesday, August 6, 2019, and the official calendar and daily schedule is as follows!
Tuesday, August 6, 2019: First day of school.
All are Monday – Friday.
Pickens County High School / Student Drop-Off: 7 am / Start: 7:45 am / End: 2:45 pm
Pickens Junior High School / Student Drop-Off: 7 am / Start: 7:45 am / End: 2:45 pm
Jasper Middle School / Student Drop-Off: 7:15 am / Start: 8:30 am / End: 3:30 pm
Harmony Elementary School / Student Drop-Off: 7:15 am / Start: 8:30 am / End 3:30 pm
Hill City Elementary School / Student Drop-Off: 7:15 am / Start: 8:30 am / End: 3:30 pm
Tate Elementary School / Student Drop-Off: 7:15 am / Start: 8:30 am / End: 3:30 pm
Monday, September 2, 2019: Labor Day Holiday
Friday, September 6, 2019: Progress Reports
Monday, September 23, 2019 – Friday, September 27, 2019: Fall Break
Tuesday, October 15, 2019: End of 1st Nine Weeks
Friday, October 18, 2019: Report Cards
Friday, November 15, 2019: Progress Reports
Monday, November 25, 2019 – Friday, November 29, 2019: Thanksgiving Holidays
Friday, December 20, 2019: End of 2nd Nine Weeks, End of 1st Semester
Monday, December 23, 2019 – Tuesday, December 31, 2019: Christmas Holidays
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 – Friday, January 3, 2020: School Holiday
Monday, January 6, 2020: Inservice
Tuesday, January 7, 2020: Students Return to School
Friday, January 10, 2020: Report Cards
Monday, January 20, 2019: Martin Luther King Holiday
Friday, February 7, 2020: Progress Reports
Monday, February 17, 2020 – Tuesday, February 18, 2020: Winter Break
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 – Friday, February 21, 2020: Potential Inclement Weather Make-Up Days for Students
Tuesday, March 17, 2020: End of 3rd Nine Weeks
Friday, March 20, 2020: Report Cards
Monday, April 6, 2020 – Friday, April 10, 2020: Spring Break
Friday, April 24, 2020: Progress Reports
Friday, May 22, 2020: Last Day of School, End of 4th Nine Weeks, End of 2nd Sesmester
Saturday, May 23, 2020: Graduation Day
Monday, May 25, 2020: Memorial Day
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 – Friday, May 29, 2020: Post Planning
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Jasper, Georgia – Due to predicted winter weather, the Pickens County School District will be closed for all students and staff on TUESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2019.
All school activities, including athletic events and after-school programs, will be canceled. All Pickens County School District buildings will be closed.
Information will be provided on the Pickens County School District website, the Infinite Campus parent portal, district website, social media site, and sent to local media.
Be sure to stay with FYN as updates and potential additional closings are announced.