‘Beyond comprehension’: Clay Yarborough raises concerns about troubled Jacksonville arts school
Sen. Clay Yarborough. Image via Florida Senate.

Yarborough
The Senator says students are in 'imminent danger.'

A Senator from Jacksonville is pushing the Duval County School District for accountability about the latest in a series of issues involving teachers at a local school of the arts.

Sen. Clay Yarborough, in a two-page letter to Acting Superintendent Dana Krisnar, the School Board and Jacksonville General Counsel Michael Fackler, is expressing “serious concerns about the immediate safety” of students at Douglas Anderson in the wake of a February arrest of a teacher over a “sexual incident” covered recently in the local press.

“The fact that the district was aware of this and allowed the teacher to remain in direct proximity with students and chose not to inform parents until last week is beyond comprehension,” Yarborough writes.

Indeed, the time between the Feb. 27 arrest of Christopher Allen-Black for what the school principal called a “misdemeanor charge of exposure of sexual organs” in Orlando at a Disney resort and the announcement of his reassignment to parents (as the “presumption of innocence” applies) on Wednesday, April 17, is notable for Yarborough.

The accused is the fifth Douglas Anderson teacher in 14 months to be removed from classroom duties in one way or another.

Yarborough asserts that the pattern shows that students are in “imminent danger of harm by adults” at Douglas Anderson, and extends his argument to assert that it shows “all Duval County students at risk.”

He also notes that the district hasn’t been transparent about the investigation it launched last year in the wake of the former vocal department chair acting lewdly with a student at the time, ahead of the chair’s retirement, and other charges of “inappropriate touching and sexually-charged communications” from teachers.

Yarborough seeks to find out when the investigation report will be released, whether district policy requires parental notification of an employee’s arrest, how the “faculty vetting” process will change going forward, whether there will be a leadership change at the school, and what safeguards are in place to stop the troubling trend.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


7 comments

  • Earl Pitts "RON'S OFFICIAL "UNOFFICIAL VPOTUS CAMPAIGN MANAGER" American

    April 22, 2024 at 6:03 pm

    Good job Senator,
    I, Earl Pitts American, will discuss how we are going to purge these Clear and Present Dangerous Leftist Devils from the Florida school system,
    Thank you Senator,
    Earl Pitts American

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  • MH/Duuuval

    April 22, 2024 at 7:32 pm

    With due respect, Clay should look to his religious denomination with the same determination and clarity.

  • Frankie M.

    April 22, 2024 at 10:21 pm

    Claybo sounds like that lady from the Simpsons. What about the children!! He does make a good point about the results from the pending investigation. It’s all about the billable hours Claybo! Thx Dr Greene

  • Nah

    April 23, 2024 at 3:45 pm

    We only seem to hear from him when there is some prurient or sex related matter he wants to save people (or children!) from, but like, um, nothing else. I am left wondering what he does to help the citizens he was elected to represent. Exbibit every legislative session. Wasn’t the only one he introduced this last session about stripping? Thanks! Duval will handle it. Eventually. DA is an excellent school, one of the finest of its kind in the country. It is bad enough they’ve suffered these setbacks and they will deal with it (maybe get a new principal). Greene and the rest of the board was asleep at the wheel but that’s past now. I agree that the board has an insular culture to it that acts like they’re not accountable to the public unless they’re calling the shots. But then again wouldn’t you. Look at Duval.

  • MH/Duuuval

    April 23, 2024 at 8:11 pm

    Alas, Clay was a better option than Cord Byrd, the Q fan boy, or Fischer, who as a DCSB member did everything in his power to create chaos and gum up the works. The choice among the three candidates was made by Dee with Byrd getting appointed Secretary of State and Fischer left holding the rotten egg.

  • Seber Newsome III

    April 24, 2024 at 12:09 pm

    Senator Yarborough is a good man!!!

Comments are closed.


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