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1997 | School evaluation claims Donna Cockrel failed to meet performance requirements

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

A little more than a month after the Simpsonville Elementary School PTA submitted a position statement requesting the dismissal of Donna Cockrel, a “summative evaluation” of Cockrel's performance was issued by the school principal stating that Cockrel did not meet the requisite level of performance in five of the forty-three categories of evaluation.

Deficient performance was noted in the following areas: communication with parents regarding student performance and teacher expectations; documentation of lesson plans; showing “consistent sensitivity to individual academic, physical, social, and cultural differences and respond[ing] to all students in a caring manner”; ability to build positive relationships within the school and between the school and community; and acting in accordance with laws and with school regulations and procedures.

The performance evaluation given on March 26, 1997 attached several letters from parents complaining about Cockrel's discussion of hemp in class, as well as documentation of other alleged misconduct. Based on this evaluation, the school principal recommended to the Shelby County School Superintendent that Cockrel be terminated.

Click the links below to learn more about the Harrelson and Cockrel trials:



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