The 178 educators implicated in the Atlanta Public Schools' cheating investigation received letters in their mailboxes Friday from interim Superintendent Erroll Davis. The message: Resign by Wednesday, or get fired.
The announcement comes after Davis replaced four area superintendents and two principals as a result of the investigation into alleged cheating by teachers, revealed early this month. APS Human Resources Chief Millicent Few resigned Monday. Investigators accused Few of illegally ordering the destruction or altering of important documents that evidenced the cheating.
The report determined that teachers in at least 44 of the 56 schools had participated in various forms of cheating, including erasing and correcting wrong answers on students' answer sheets for mandated standardized tests.
Davis' office will accept resignations Monday through Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. After Wednesday, the district will commence termination proceedings.
But because teachers have rights to due process, the educator wipe-out could be lengthy and take several months, AJC reports. Some teachers have already hired lawyers.
At a town hall meeting Thursday night, parents questioned districts officials about how their children will be affected by the scandal. The same evening that Davis sent the letters to implicated educators, he assured parents that those involved in the incident would not be back in front of classrooms.
"It is not an overnight process to get rid of them," WAGA-TV reports Davis telling parents. "It certainly is an overnight process to tell them not to show up."
The district is already facing retaliation. Some teachers assert they did not cheat and will fight for their jobs.
"This story has destroyed my entire life. It's all over the world. They have smeared my name," Finch Elementary teacher Sharona Thomas-Wilson told AJC in a separate report.
"We can't allow that to happen, and we can't allow anyone who was involved with that remain in our system," he told CNN. "We will identify those children, and we will make the requisite investments to remediate the wrongs that were done against them."