In the past, present leadership could be liable if negligence was found in Jeffrey Clayton’s investigations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Douglas Anderson teacher Jeffrey Clayton is facing multiple criminal charges for inappropriate behavior with a student after years of allegations.

Some people voiced that the current superintendent, Dr. Diana Greene, should be held accountable for the delay in action against Clayton.

A local attorney told News4JAX the principals and superintendents during Clayton’s 23 years of working for the school district could be held liable too if negligence was found.

On Friday, News4JAX obtained nine reports filed against Clayton going back all the way to 2006.

It’s been exactly one month since Jeffrey Clayton, a longtime music teacher at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts sent his resignation letter on March 28, 2023. Just six days after he was arrested on March 22. Clayton is facing two counts of offenses against students by authority figures, independent lewd, or lascivious touching of certain minors, and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

Jeffrey Clayton, a longtime music teacher at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts sent this resignation letter on March 28, 2023. Just six days after he was arrested on March 22. (News4JAX)

Local attorney John Holzbaur said it is possible that superintendents and/or principals who knew about Clayton’s alleged misconduct against children could face liability.

Could that student or their parent sue some entity, Duval Schools, the principal, or the superintendent for negligence or some form of liability, even if they have graduated and gone on to be an adult now?

“For certain types of crimes in the state of Florida the statute of limitations is decades-long for allegations of misconduct certainly involving children,” John Holzbaur, attorney for Reep Law Firm, said. “Those complaints can be brought up decades later.”

Duval experience work record for Jeffrey Clayton. (News4JAX)

Clayton worked for Duval schools for 23 years and during that time there were seven different superintendents:

  1. John Fryers Junior

  2. Dr. Nancy Snyder

  3. Joseph Wise

  4. Ed Pratt-Dannals

  5. Nikolai Vitti

  6. Patricia Willis

  7. Diana Greene

Clayton has been the subject of multiple investigations by the Office of Equity and Inclusion/Professional Standards and/or a school-based investigation including 2006, 2008, 2016, 2020, 2022 and 2023. Clayton has been arrested for crimes against one student, but now the investigation must determine if there are more victims over the past 23 years.

News4JAX reached out to every board member for Duval Schools today and asked: “Will any superintendents of the Duval School District and/or previous principals at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts be interviewed regarding Mr. Clayton’s inappropriate behavior while he was a teacher at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts? Could any of the previous superintendents or principals be reprimanded for their knowledge of Mr. Clayton’s behavior?”

We are still waiting to hear back.

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