Teacher accused of orchestrating student beatings to work through end of school year

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

A middle school teacher has resigned for his role in student beatings at Sego Middle School in Augusta.

But despite that resignation, the teacher will remain at school the rest of the week.

News 12's Kristen Cosby asked school officials why.

The district attorney's office now holds the results of the investigation by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

It's up to them to decide if a Sego Middle School teacher encouraged students to beat up their misbehaving peers.

Students tell investigators he called it "peer counseling"...but those students say they knew what their teacher really meant.

And now investigators agree.

They say when science teacher Maurice Wallace said peer counseling, he really meant peer beating.

They say that when Sego students misbehaved, Wallace used three large eighth graders to "counsel" them.

"We don't condone any kind of physical contact with the student," says Richmond County School spokeswoman Mechelle Jordan. "We don't condone our teachers condoning it."

Jordan says the school district launched an internal investigation in mid-May after complaints from several students.

The sheriff's office took it over last week.

"Once we brought the teacher in to question him about the allegations, he then resigned and apologized," Jordan says.

But despite that admission, Wallace will work at Sego until Friday.

"We have testing, we have final exams," Jordan says. "So basically he's in place because of the necessity of the school year."

But for parents like Steline Wright, that doesn't sit well.

"He shouldn't be still teaching at all," says Wright.

The mother of four lives up the street from sego. Her kids aren't old enough to go there yet, but just the thought of it upsets her.

"We don't send our kids to school to be treated like that. We send them to school for their education and their education only," she says.

Jordan does say the district has a guarantee Wallace will not continue this practice.

If Wallace is charged by the district attorney's office, the school district will turn the matter over to the Public Standards Commission, which means Wallace could lose his teaching license.

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