JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Tuesday’s Jackson Public Schools Board of Education meeting went late into the night as former educators shared their stories of alleged harassment by Superintendent Jeff Beal.
While some stood firm in their claims, others had nothing but praise for Beal.
Those who brought up the allegations said they want to see more done with their claims, as well as the ongoing investigation involving a school board member.
“Procure a third neutral party to investigate all claims brought forth during the March meeting and today. There are 12, really 14, victims just after today that we know of,” said Joanna Perkins, a former JPS teacher.
Perkins taught between 1998 to 2019. She was one of several former educators who brought up allegations of harassment and bullying by Superintendent Jeff Beal.
During last month’s Board of Education meeting, a vote was taken to hire an outside law firm to investigate similar claims made by Trustee Kesha Hamilton.
“Personally, what I know what took place with Kesha was pretty intense and him being her boss is kind of indicative of his brazenness that he continues to do this to teachers and principals, and education consultants, HR directors, because he’s in power to do,” said Perkins.
Perkins said she’s already worried about the outcome of the first investigation. During public comment, several other former teachers shared their claims.
Others spoke out in support of Beal. One teacher said he helped her handle issues with a travel company at the onset of the pandemic.
“Never once was his tone threatening or intimidating but he was calm cool and collected, while still getting his point across,” said teacher Destiny Davis.
Other community members expressed their support of Superintendant Beal by sharing the benefits of a 2018 bond that passed under his leadership.
“This is the exact reason that as a proud Viking, it makes me upset to sit back and watch unsubstantiated accusations thrown around so easily around,” said Dennis Mitchell, a community member.
The meeting ended with a closed session where board members reviewed the results of the investigation presented by an attorney.
The district staff said Beal would not available after the meeting for comment.