Friday news dump? Duval Schools Supe apologizes to art school parents for leaving troubled teacher in classroom

Douglas Anderson DASOTA via Duval Schools
'I assure you that we have learned from this experience.'

The hits keep coming for the Duval County School District and its management of problematic teachers at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.

The latest attempt at damage control came Friday afternoon from interim Superintendent Dana Kriznar, in a blast email obtained by Florida Politics that attempts to “express (an) apology” for allowing algebra teacher Christopher Allen-Black access to students weeks after he was charged with indecent exposure at a resort in Orange County.

Kriznar contents the “decision to pull him from the classroom should have been immediate based on the charge against him” and that all parents at the school, and not just those in Allen-Black’s classes, should have been “informed” in a timely fashion.

“I assure you that we have learned from this experience,” the interim leader of the district adds.

Krisnar had written Allen-Black’s students’ parents more than a week ago outlining what she called a “misdemeanor charge of exposure of sexual organs,” noting that while “the presumption of innocence applies,” the math instructor was “reassigned” to duties that kept him separate from students.

The latest developments come as state leaders are paying attention to the local scandal.

Sen. Clay Yarborough recently raised concerns about the latest issue of teacher comportment in a two-page letter to Acting Superintendent Dana Krisnar, the School Board and Jacksonville General Counsel Michael Fackler. He was curious about the status of an investigation commissioned by the Office of General Counsel last year.

“For DCPS and the City’s Office of General Counsel to delay the release of the taxpayer-funded investigation report related to the 2023 scandal suggests more wrongdoing is being hidden. Parents are demanding answers and our students deserve better. Where is the transparency,” the Southside Republican asked.

However, a representative of Mayor Donna Deegan said the findings, in the possession of an outside legal firm contracted by Jacksonville’s consolidated government, would be shielded from the public as litigation unfolds.

Meanwhile, this isn’t the only news peg for DASOTA this week.

State Attorney Melissa Nelson announced that former vocal teacher Jeffrey Clayton “has pleaded guilty to the court to two Offenses Against Students by Authority Figures; Indecent, Lewd, or Lascivious Touching of Certain Minors; and Unlawful Use of Two-Way Communications Device, all related to his job as a high school teacher.”

The 65-year-old could go to prison for up to 40 years, or as few as three years. His fate will be finalized at a June sentencing hearing officiated by Judge Tatiana Salvador.

Per the State Attorney’s Office (SAO), in March 2023, a then-16-year-old student had a “one-on-one singing lesson” with Clayton, where the teacher “sat next to the student and professed his romantic feelings for her before he rubbed her thighs and leaned in to kiss her multiple times.”

“The victim confided in a friend about the incident, which led to a Department of Children and Families representative and Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputy visit to the student’s home, which then alerted the victim’s parents. The Duval County School Board Police then became involved,” the SAO notes.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


3 comments

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  • Frankie M.

    April 27, 2024 at 5:41 pm

    AG trying to deflect from his BK roots.

  • MH/Duuuval

    April 27, 2024 at 7:56 pm

    Wonder what the ratio of sexually rogue Duval public school teachers is to rogue JSO officers? Or Protestant church men? Or Catholic priests?

    Unfortunately, kids don’t get listened to enough by adults.

Comments are closed.


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