Why was a teacher with a criminal background hired by SCS?

Why was a teacher with a criminal background hired by SCS?
SCS teacher placed on administrative leave, accused of raping 14-year-old boy (Source: Shelby County Jail)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Mid-South teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a teenage boy has a criminal history dating back to 1992, so WMC Action News 5 looked into how Shelby County Schools hired him.

Fifth-grade Oakhaven Elementary teacher Marvin Eugene Straughter, 53, has faced charges for theft and drugs in the past. Records show his most recent run-in with the law was in 2001 when he pleaded guilty to attempted possession of cocaine.

Straughter was required to go to treatment. He successfully completed that program.

SCS teacher accused of having sexual relationship with boy has criminal past

Years later in 2013, Straughter submitted an application to the Tennessee Department of Education. In his application, he provided details about his prior criminal convictions.

Straughter has been employed with Shelby County Schools since 2013.

According to Shelby County Schools, applicants will not be hired if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor, drug or theft charges within the last five years of their application date.

It had been 12 years since Straughter’s convictions, therefore he was eligible for employment consideration.

SCS teacher placed on administrative leave, accused of raping 14-year-old boy

State records also show Straughter was once accused of pushing a student. But according to SCS, “The district was unable to substantiate the allegation that the student was pushed. Mr. Straughter was cleared to return to work.”

Pending an investigation into the new allegation, Straughter was placed on paid administrative leave Dec. 10. He’s due back in court Jan. 21.

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