Child possibly 'lost their innocence,' school official tells councilman in email over teacher inquiry, political Facebook fight
ZACHARY - A city councilman and a local principal traded words this week over a mysterious criminal investigation involving a middle school teacher.
The war of words stems from the ongoing investigation of a teacher at Northwestern Middle School. Police and Zachary School officials have confirmed that a female employee has been on leave for more than a week over allegations of wrongdoing, but both sides have remained mum on what those accusations actually entail.
But, more details about the allegations got out after Zachary Councilman Lael Montgomery aired his grievances on Facebook in a message also chastising the local police department's use of hashtags on social media messages announcing arrests.
"ZPD if a teacher who is accused of having sex with ninth graders doesn't get your funny little condescending hashtags, then it is hypocritical for you to do this to anyone else who is accused of a crime," wrote Montgomery, apparently referencing the department's habit of posting tongue-in-cheek hashtags on social media.
Debby Brian, the principal at Northwestern Middle, responded to Montgomery's post in an email that was shared with WBRZ Wednesday. In her response, Brian called the councilman's comments "disgraceful" and criticized him for calling out hashtags when "a child has possibly lost their innocence."
“I felt like she was telling me that I have a place. I need to be quiet and stay over here. Well, I’m going to tell you something Ms. Debby or Debra or whatever your name is, that’s never going to happen," Montgomery told WBRZ on Wednesday.
You can read the full email below.
I do not participate in Social Media, but was awakened this morning by many NMS parents, ZCSB employees both at NMS and other locations and members of this community.
Your post of two days ago is disgraceful. My faculty, students, and staff have had to deal with allegations, rumors, and publicity surrounding events from last school year. We are trying to protect our students who feel betrayed by a teacher they loved and admired. My faculty members also feel betrayed and disappointed in a co-worker who has worked with us for over 10 years.
I have experienced nothing but professionalism and support from our police department during this horrendous ordeal. How sad that a child has possibly lost their innocence at the hands of a teacher we all trusted and your only concern is a webmaster's hashtag?
Shame on you. Your constituents deserve better.
Police still haven't shared official details about the investigation, and no charges have been filed as of Wednesday.