Teacher allows kindergartner to walk a mile home instead of wai - WNEM TV 5

Teacher allows kindergartner to walk a mile home instead of waiting for bus

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At Denver Elementary School in Frayser, teacher Karen Johnson's name remains on the website but perhaps not for long. At Denver Elementary School in Frayser, teacher Karen Johnson's name remains on the website but perhaps not for long.
Denver Elementary sits on busy four-lane Frayser Boulevard. Denver Elementary sits on busy four-lane Frayser Boulevard.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - A teacher faces termination after she reportedly allowed a kindergartner to cross two major streets on a one mile walk from school.

At Denver Elementary School in Frayser, teacher Karen Johnson's name remains on the website but perhaps not for long.

"Ms. Johnson allowed a kindergarten student to walk away from the school while outside waiting on a day care bus," said Shelby County Schools attorney Valerie Speakman.

The district's attorney read tenure charges against Johnson into the record during Tuesday night's SCS board meeting.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson recommends Johnson's termination. Denver Elementary sits on busy four-lane Frayser Boulevard.

Memphis mom Elizabeth Jones doesn't allow her boys to walk alone, even near their home.

"It was a dangerous decision," said Jones. "And she probably did it innocently, but I would have a hard time if I was the mom."

All of the details surrounding Johnson's alleged neglect of duty are unclear; it happened in April, and she was suspended without pay five days later.

The board voted Tuesday to proceed with a tenure hearing for Johnson, who first joined the then Memphis City Schools in 2001.

"Part of the board's responsibility is to review the tenure hearing processes and make a decision," said SCS chairman Kevin Woods.

A second teacher was formally brought up on tenure charges Tuesday night as well. Gregory Matthews is accused of instructing a Northwest Prep student to urinate in a trash can after refusing a bathroom break.

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