Escambia County School teacher gets her day in court
By by Connie Nowlin
An Escambia County Middle School teacher arrested in June and charged with harassment will make an appearance in court at 9 a.m. today.
Kimberly Gibson was placed on administrative leave and charged April 23.
In the incident, sources told the Advance that a student reportedly stepped on Gibson's toes and she made a slapping motion.
Harassment is designated under Alabama law as an offense with intent to harass, annoy or alarm, strike, shove, kick, or otherwise touch the victim.
Buck Powell, superintendent of the Escambia County Board of Education, said that the board could not make any decisions about Gibson until after her court appearance.
"They filed charges, and she has a court date," Powell said. "The board cannot make any comments or decisions until then."
Additionally, there is a tenure policy for school teachers in Alabama. That means there are steps that must be followed should any disciplinary action be taken toward any teacher with more than three years successful service.
Gibson is tenured, having six years in service.
Powell said that no matter what happens in the court, Gibson will get due process.
She is a science teacher and involved in some other activities at the school, such as the science fair.
The matter had originally been scheduled to be heard June 2, but according to court clerk Chris Pruitt, the case was continued. He said that is not unusual when a case is expected to take longer than a simple traffic infraction or other simpler hearing.