As Clayton County schools looks into allegations that a teacher took out a hit on a gay student and the teacher awaits possible grand jury charges, a Tuesday disciplinary hearing was postponed.
The Clayton County Sheriff’s office arrested Mundy Mill High School teacher Randolph Forde (photo) last month on charges of terroristic threats to one of his students for being gay. He was released on $10,000 bond.
The school system placed the teacher on leave with pay while it conducts its own investigation into the allegations, schools spokesperson Charles White tells the AJC.
School officials postponed the employment hearing scheduled on Tuesday for Forde to face possible disciplinary action, White said, under advice from attorneys.
“We needed to post notice of the hearing a full 24 hours prior, according to the (Georgia) Open Meetings Act,” White said late Monday night.
But Terrence Madden, the student’s attorney, said neither he nor his client were informed of the change, and complained that the school district was stalling.
“Nothing has changed as far as evidence,” Madden said. “They had no legitimate reason except that it had gone public.”
The hearing, which must be scheduled within two weeks, is now expected soon after Thanksgiving.
According to the allegations, Forde pulled the 16-year-old student out of class and asked him if he was gay when he was seen dancing with another male student. In an altercation the next day, the teacher threatened “to hit him in his f-ing mouth,” the student’s attorney tells the AJC.
A few days later, Forde asked another student to “put a hit” on the teenager, the police report states.
“The suspect advised to the witness that he would pay him to kill the victim,” and wrote the student’s name down and showed it to another student, according to the report.
The police report says that at the time of his arrest, Forde denied the incidents and any contact with the student. But now Forde’s attorney, Borquaye Thomas, claims the student is making the allegations only after being suspended for misconduct in which he was in trouble with Forde.
Thomas also admits that Forde asked the student if he was gay in front of a classroom full of other students.
“All of the students knew Mr. Forde was joking,” Thomas is quoted as saying in the AJC. “The other students said Mr. Forde always plays around with them like that.”
In the criminal matter with police, Forde waived a preliminary hearing last month and awaits the charges being sent to a grand jury.
Mug shot via Clayton County Sherrif’s Department.