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SHS teacher resigns amid felony charges

October 29, 2012

By NATHAN GREGORY
citybeat@starkvilledailynews.com

Starkville High School teacher Jason Lernard Young resigned yesterday amid charges he faces following his Oct. 21 arrest, Starkville School District Public Information Officer Nicole Thomas confirmed Monday.

Young, 29, had been a history teacher at SHS since 2007. He was arrested by Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department and charged with his second DUI, fleeing a law enforcement officer, assault on an officer, resisting arrest, malicious mischief and disorderly conduct. Assault on an officer and fleeing a law enforcement officer are classified as felonies.
The district suspended Young with pay Oct. 26 after learning of his arrest the previous day.

SSD Superintendent Lewis Holloway said the district has a substitute teacher in place who is certified to teach Young’s classes while district interviews permanent replacement candidates. He said he expects the interviewing process to take approximately 10 school days.

“Any time you change teachers in the middle of the year, there are adjustments that have to be made with students,” Holloway said. “Being that we have substitutes certified in social studies and there are a lot of qualified people who can teach, this is the best possible scenario for our students.”

In a press release, Thomas said the district investigated Young’s charges and followed the law in its handling of them.

Miss. Code 37-9-59 states that for immoral conduct, the superintendent of a school district has the authority to dismiss or suspend any certified employee.

“In the event a certificated employee is arrested, indicted or otherwise charged with a felony by a recognized law enforcement official, the continued presence of the certificated employee on school premises shall be deemed to constitute a disruption of normal school operations,” the code states.

SSD also complies with the Mississippi Educator Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, which defines a set of standards for licensed educators.

“The code of ethics details (10) standards of conduct and also defines unethical conduct as any conduct that impairs the license holder’s ability to function in his/her employment position or a pattern of behavior that is detrimental to the health, safety, welfare, discipline or morals of students and colleagues,” Thomas stated in the release.

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