JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sharon Sanders is no longer the principal at Windy Hill Elementary after an investigation revealed seven FCAT policy violations. First Coast News has learned more about the investigation which led to Sanders demotion.
The teacher at the center of the testing misconduct is Christopher Bacca. Bacca is the teacher arrested last July and charged with three counts of felony sexual battery on a minor. He is accused of showering with the victim while the minor stayed at Bacca's home.
Duval County Public School investigators were told Bacca may have had the FCAT writing prompt before the test was administered.
Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said there was nothing in the investigation clearly indicating cheating; rather the investigation's focus was FCAT writing protocols in schools. He said the report shows a clear lapse of judgment on Sanders's part.
The District's investigation was not able to determine if Bacca did have the FCAT writing prompt before the test.
Sanders was demoted due to seven violations found by investigators. Those include visual aids not removed in the testing room, no training for test administrators, students seated at tables facing each other, students not spaced three feet apart, seating charts not properly maintained, School Assessment Coordinator not able to monitor testing rooms, and Schools Assessment Coordinator not able to supervise make-up administrations.
"I think the protocols were in place. I think it was just the adults that didn't make the right decisions."
Sanders's attorney, Tad Delegal, said the facts in the District's report are flimsy.
"[Vitti] said that Ms. Sanders was given an opportunity to respond. She was not. She was not asked only about the partitions. She was not asked anything about what she was charged. That's why we're requesting a hearing in this case. That's why I think we're going to win," said Delegal.
Delegal said he will appeal the School Board's decision to challenge the allegations. He said that process could take a few months.
Vitti stated this was the first disciplinary action Sanders faced in her time with Duval County Schools.