Dupree relieved of duty at Hutto

Published 2:56 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Steven Dupree has been removed as principal at Hutto Middle School and placed on paid administrative leave for the remainder of the school year.

Dupree, along with the staff at Hutto, was informed of this decision last Friday afternoon by Decatur County School Superintendent Fred Rayfield.

According to Rayfield, Dupree breached one or more of the standards listed in the Code of Ethics for Educators as written by state of Georgia’s Professional Standards Commission. This document “defines the professional behavior of educators in Georgia and serves as a guide to ethical conduct.” A full copy of the Code of Ethics is available for download at www.thepostsearchlight.com.

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“This is a difficult situation, a painful situation, and these types of things are never good,” said Rayfield. “But we hit it head on and dealt with it.”

While Rayfield declined to provide specifics of the incident that led to Dupree’s removal, Rayfield did indicate that no student was involved and didn’t necessitate law enforcement involvement.

After the completion of an internal investigation, led by Rayfield, the decision was made to place Dupree on administrative leave and the case was turned over to the state’s Professional Standards Commission. Any appeals of the decision by Dupree would be heard by this commission.

Florence Harrell, assistant principal at Hutto Middle School, will lead the day-to-day operations on campus for the remainder of the school year. Harrell is the former principal of Lillian E. Williams in Attapulgus, which was closed in 2009. Tammi Godwin, career counselor, and Shirley Clark, lead teacher, will assist Harrell.

Rayfield also indicated that staff from the Central Office will be more visible on Hutto’s campus until a permanent replacement for Dupree can be found.

Dupree was the assistant principal of Thomas County Central High School before he came to Bainbridge in 2007. Other former positions include assistant principal at Grady County’s Washington Middle School and a teacher at Cairo High School.

Georgia Educator Code of Ethics