Discrimination and hostility allegations led to investigation against Memphis schools chief
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – MSCS Deputy Superintendent of Operations John Barker remains on paid leave as an investigation continues into his actions.
It all comes down to a letter sent to district leaders shortly after Barker became acting co-superintendent when then-superintendent Joris Ray was suspended.
Sources told WREG that the complaints relate to allegations of discrimination and hostility in the workplace. The letter is said to be from human resources manager Yolanda Martin.
Barker was furloughed last week.
That’s when school board president Michelle McKissack told WREG that issues were being looked into, but that this investigation was unrelated to that of former superintendent Joris Ray.
The school district released a statement saying it is investigating all complaints made against employees and cannot comment further, but remains focused on expanding opportunities and academic gains for students.
But who may be involved in this John Barker investigation is unclear.
At least one school board member told WREG she hadn’t seen the letter and wondered if it had been sent to the whole board. But she is confident in the process to get to the bottom of the allegations.
Board Vice Chair Althea Green told us it’s standard procedure to investigate complaints against District employees. She said to remember that all are innocent until proven guilty and she prays for this process to be speedy.
This investigation follows a bumpy start to the school year for the district. Extramarital affair complaints against former Superintendent Joris Ray led to an investigation into his employee dealings and ultimately his resignation.
Now, new acting superintendent Tutonial Williams is trying to keep the focus on student success as another issue looms.
The school system’s chief of staff, Patrice Williams Thomas, is taking over from John Barker while the investigation is ongoing.
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