Metro pays $25K over former teacher accused of sexual assault

Monday, June 20, 2011 at 4:48pm

The Metro Nashville Board of Education agreed to pay $25,000 last week to settle a lawsuit that alleged Metro schools officials failed to warn Rutherford County schools officials that a former Nashville teacher had been accused of having a sexual relationship with a student. 

Kenneth Anderson Jr. was eventually hired by Rutherford County’s Smyrna High School, where he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old student. Anderson is now serving time in prison for sexually predatory acts. 

In addition to the $25,000 from Metro, the plaintiffs in the suit — an anonymous Smyrna student and her mother — have been awarded $25,000 by Rutherford County schools. A judge has ordered Anderson to deliver the plaintiffs $1.5 million. 

Anderson taught in Metro from 2001 through 2003, serving different stints at Hillsboro High School and Nashville School for the Arts. While teaching at the latter, Anderson was accused of having a sexual relationship with a Hillsboro student.

In March 2003, Anderson was placed on administrative leave while a police investigation took place. Metro police concluded no sexual relationship happened. The report pointed out the student claimed Anderson was her only sexual partner and had fathered her child, even though DNA evidence proved otherwise. No criminal charges were brought.

Anderson later taught at Franklin High School in Williamson County from 2003 through 2005.

Prior to Anderson’s arrival at Smyrna, according to court documents, the principal there spoke to Nashville School for the Arts' then-Principal Bob Wilson, who recommended Rutherford County not hire for Anderson because of his poor job performance.

Rutherford County officials also spoke to Gene Foster of Metro schools' Human Resources Department, who did not alert them to the previous allegations directed toward Anderson, according to court documents. Foster, who recommended Anderson not be hired for unsatisfactory performance, was unaware of the past accusations, the documents reveal.

While teaching biology at Smyrna, Anderson committed sexual predatory abuse on one of his female students from October 2005 through January 2006. 

The suit brought against Metro, Rutherford County Schools and Anderson also claimed Metro failed to fully investigate all of the accusations against Anderson, and failed to report the former teacher to the state Department of Children's Services. 



7 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 6/21/11 at 5:13

This secrecy within these school administrations when they do hire these losers
are a true reason for concern. To then stay neutral to other systems when ask
for references on these characters happens all the time and must be stopped.
Shame on Metro for Metro for this case and others that have been exposed!

By: BigPapa on 6/21/11 at 6:41

No, shame on the courts for scaring the bejesus outta every HR person in every industry. Everyone is scared to actually say why people are hired or "not recommended for re-hire" that you end up with perverts like this skating from county to county.

By: gdiafante on 6/21/11 at 6:49

So, Smyrna contacts the previous employer who does not recommend him for hire and then they contact the Metro Human Resources Department and they don't recommend him for hire either, yet Smyrna hires him.

Excluding the sexual predator nature of the story, exactly why was this guy hired if no one recommended him based on poor performance??

By: BigPapa on 6/21/11 at 7:49

There are a few guesses you could toss out there. One might be affirmative action, but that's just a guess.

By: howelln on 6/21/11 at 8:11

I may be wrong, but I believe the only negative thing a former employer can say without being sued is "I would not rehire this person." At least that is what a friend of mine who was in an HR position told me. I say the fault lies with Rutherford County for hiring him anyway.

By: nothingbutagthng on 6/21/11 at 8:39

howelln i think your wrong. I work in management and we are not allowed to say anything negative about a previous employee that could effect him not receiving a job. Its called blackballing. Saying someone performed poorly in a job falls into the category of blackballing. Pretty much the only thing you can say about a person is yes he/she was employed here

By: richgoose on 6/22/11 at 7:22

I only know of about 10 or 12 incidents during my school years where there were purportedly "relationships" between students and teachers. None of it was reported because in those days every one felt obligated to keep this information as private as possible.