Atlanta, GA- A federal lawsuit was brought against the Atlanta Public School system regarding the recent sexual claims at Douglas High School.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher announces that Atlanta school officials are refusing to say what has happened to the high school principal Artesza Portee, who remained on the job despite evidence claiming that he had fondled a former assistant principal.
Belcher says that the school district has spent more than $75,000 investigating the claim. However, many are disappointed by the failure to properly address the situation as Artesza Portee was only given 25 days without pay in January after outside investigators concluded he didn’t respond truthfully when questioned about the accusation. Now matters has escalated to which the state is involved.
Atlanta City Councilman Micheal Julian Bond, a graduate of Douglas High School says, “I’m really disappointed with the way the district has handled it. I think this is completely unacceptable”. APS settled on the disciplinary action to only give Portee a final warning, a transfer, and an expensive suspension.
In an interview about the assault, Sheri McEarchern asserts that by not firing Portee signals “that they (the district) support and condone him. The only thing they suspended him for was not being honest. It was not the actions. That’s a problem.” Many agree with McEarchern that “…it’s not enough. These are serious charges that have been brought up against him.”
The day after the report was released on Channel 2, students filled the hallways at Douglas High School, many of them chanting about Portee: “Lock his *** up!”. The school was later placed in a state of lockdown by APS superintendent Lisa Herring, but there was no reported violence on site.
Channel 2 Action News asked APS where Portee is assigned and whether the district will explain his removal from Douglas. There was no response made by the district, so Channel 2 has filed for an open records for more information on the case.