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APS teachers sentenced to 20 years for cheating scandal


The teachers in the Atlanta Public School cheating scandal were sentenced by Judge Jerry Baxter. Baxter sent a strong, yet excessive, message to the educators who did not take a proposed plea deal.

Tamara Cotman, Sharon Davis Williams, and Michael Pitts were sentenced to 20 years (seven to serve), 2000 hours of community service, $25,000 fine, and no first offender status.

Other sentences include:

Angela Williams received five years (one to serve), 1500 hours of community service, and $5,000 fine.

Tabeeka Jordan received five years (two to serve), 1500 hours of community service, and $5,000 fine.

Theresia Copeland was sentenced to five years (one to serve), 1000 hours of community service.

Donald Bullock took the deal and will have to serve five years probation, six months of weekends served in jail, 1500 hours of community service.

The courtroom was volatile at times as exchanges between the defendants and Judge Baxter became heated. Judge Baxter wanted the teachers to apologize for their part in the scandal. But if the teachers believed that they were innocent, it wouldn’t make sense for them to admit guilt in any form or fashion.

Judge Baxter also called the case “the sickest thing to happen in this town.” It was an overstatement that ignored Atlanta’s history of racial strife, the child murders of the 1980s, and the 1996 Olympic Park bombing.

Indeed, children were cheated by the APS scandal and the teachers should have been punished in some form or fashion. However, the sentencing proves the case was a show and not an attempt to implement true justice.

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