DECATUR — Emails among administrators and South Shores School teacher Jaime Goodman demonstrate the Decatur Public Schools' response to an incident on Aug. 20.
Goodman, an art teacher at South Shores, faces a preliminary charge of aggravated battery of a child and was given a notice to appear in Macon County Circuit Court on Oct. 4. The complaint indicates a student in her class did not put her head down on the desk after Goodman asked students to do so, and Goodman is accused of forcing the child's head down.
State's Attorney Scott Reuter said on Wednesday that no further action has yet been taken by his office. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state's attorney's office.
An attachment containing the emails was received Wednesday afternoon by the Herald & Review in response to a Freedom of Information Act request seeking "all emails to and from Jaime N. Goodman for the period of Aug. 20 through today, Aug. 24 and all emails that mention her from the period of July 24 through today, Aug. 24."
In the emails, Director of Human Resources Jason Hood informed Goodman, Decatur Education Association President Chrissy Petitt and Illinois Education Association official Andrew Matthews that a meeting had been set at the Keil Administration Building. An email on the day of the incident, from Goodman to South Shores Principal Geneka Gully, thanks the principal for her support and asks for another adult to be present in her classroom the following week.
The child's mother, Tiasha Dady, sent emails to all seven board members on Monday, Aug. 23, asking for their advice and support as she pursued further action. She wrote that she was upset when she went to the school on the Monday following the incident and found Goodman still working.
"I feel like the school system is failing me and the other children attending South Shores School," Dady wrote. "Why wasn't there immediate action taken?"
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Jeff Dase sent emails to Gully and Deanne Hillman, former human resources director, that the teacher went home early on Aug. 23 and was awaiting further information on next steps from the district.
Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Follow her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter