Focus on Education
Tue May 20, 2014
FBI reviews forgery case in Buffalo schools
The FBI is now involved in one of the long-running disputes in the Buffalo school district, the tangled case of a parent accused of forging her own signature.
Timieka Jones says that couldn't be her signature in a report on parental involvement since she was in the hospital when the report was dated.
When she complained, the district said it brought in an expert who said she did sign the forms but signed it in a "disguised" way to make it look like a forgery.
Yesterday, Jones and officials of the District Parent Coordinating Council met with an unidentified FBI agent to talk about the situation, a meeting which went on for well over two hours.
DPCC President Sam Radford says the school board didn't do enough to watch the investigation.
"What makes this person an expert? Did anybody say: Can we get a second opinion? Did anybody say that before we close an investigation where a parent is accusing an administrator of forging their signature, before we close that investigation, let's just make sure that this is true?" Radford said.
"In this particular case, it appears that it's not true and it don't appear that the board did anything to make sure that they were protecting the interests of parents."
Not only is Jones the parent of a child in Harvey Austin School, she's also a teacher aide in that building. She says there were repercussions when she refused to sign the report on parent participation including refusals to meet with her to discuss her child.
Radford says this is harassment of a whistleblower and something has to be done.