No written report in DeKalb’s $325-an-hour suicide inquiry
DeKalb County school officials have no written record of the investigation that exonerates school employees in the April 16 suicide of a Dunaire Elementary fifth-grader.
Retired judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore (right) said Wednesday that she found “no evidence of bullying” after interviewing dozens of teachers, parents and students at Dunaire. The mother of 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera has said school administrators ignored her complaints about bullying that she believes triggered the suicide.
Atlanta Unfiltered on Thursday asked for a written copy of Moore’s findings.
But, it turns out, there isn’t one.
Moore, who retired last year after nearly 30 years on the bench, presented her findings only as an oral report, school district spokesman Dale Davis said. The retired judge may well have notes of her interviews and findings, but they would be exempt from public disclosure under the attorney-client privilege, Davis said.
A video of Moore’s presentation at a Wednesday news conference will be available to the public but probably will not be posted on the school district’s Web site.
DeKalb School Superintendent Crawford Lewis promised last month that the district’s examination of the events preceding Jaheem’s death would be “totally transparent.”
Asked if the lack of a written report reflects that transparency, Davis said, “I can’t speak to those who wish to question her credibility. That’s one’s own personal choice to do that.”
The school district paid Moore $325 an hour for her work. Davis said he did not know how many hours she put in since she was retained three weeks ago.
Moore is continuing to work with the district to look into complaints from other parents at Dunaire, he said.