In-house investigation clears Chamblee

Published 10:13 am Tuesday, March 9, 2010

JACKSON — Northampton County High School-East Principal Pamela Chamblee has been cleared of recent allegations of harassment at the Creeksville based school.

On Friday, Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy released results of an investigation by school system attorneys.

“In light of the recent allegations that have been made in the local media, the Northampton County Board of Education has conducted a thorough and fair investigation of the climate and atmosphere at NCHS-East,” the press release stated. “Among other investigative activities, forty-five teacher (sic), administrators, and staff members were interviewed over the course of two days by the school system’s attorneys. Our review shows that the overwhelming majority of the individuals interviewed at NCHS-East find the climate and atmosphere to be professional and very supportive for student achievement.”

The press release closes, “At this time, the Board has no further comment on this matter.”

More than a month ago, a group of parents, former and current employees leveled harassment allegations against Chamblee.

On Monday, Eunice Ward, a spokesperson for that group, said the lawyers did not interview the right people and that “victims” were not contacted.

“We will continue to fight it,” she said.

Former NCHS-East teacher Shonda Harris-Muhammed, who now resides in Virginia, said her first reaction to the results of the investigation was disappointment.

Muhammed in the past has said Chamblee yelled at her and embarrassed her in front of students.

Muhammed said she was concerned that the investigation was not removed from any bias with the school system’s own attorneys conducting the investigation.

“It’s most wise for a district to remove themselves (from an investigation),” she said. “Northampton County did not do that and I find that to be very unprofessional.”

Muhammed said she feels confident that the truth about the harassment will come out.

“It’s going to happen again,” she said.

Faye Smith, who has grandchildren attending NCHS-East, was also disappointed by the investigation.

“I know Dr. Bracy is lying when he says there is no hostility at Northampton East,” she said.

Smith said the harassment will not go away and that the issue will come to a head.

“The bruises of hostility will show,” she said.

Smith, who was in attendance at the last school board meeting, said she was also concerned that she was not allowed to speak to the board about NCHS-East during open session, but rather had to speak during closed session.

Pamela Jerman of Capital Heights, Md. said she has nephews who attend the school.

Jerman said she called Chamblee after her nephews were involved in an altercation at the school to see why their parents were not contacted.

In a January 25 letter to Dr. Bracy, Jerman alleges Chamblee became “very rude and hostile.” Later in their conversation, Jerman said Chamblee hung up on her.

“She doesn’t even resolve issues with parents,” she said. “We have to do something for our kids at our schools.”