(GDN)–A crowd of over 50 supporters of a Southern Wayne High School science teacher and softball coach gathered in front of the Wayne County Public School Central Office on Royall Ave. Tuesday afternoon. Coach Anthony Williams attended but did not speak on advise from his attorney.
Officials say Williams had physical contact with Wayne County Deputy Albert Wood during a school basketball game on February 16th. William’s lawyers claim Wood mistook the teacher for a student and asked him to hand over the pocket knife or take it to his car. The attorney stated that the deputy then put her client into a choke-hold and torso hold for about a minute. Williams was charged with having a weapon on educational property and resisting a public officer.
Wife and fellow coach, Jamie Williams, said at today’s press conference “the lack of support from our leadership, our principal and central office is disgustingly hurtful and I pray that no one else has to go through something like this.”
In a statement from Ken Derksen, Executive Director for Community Engagement and Student & Family Support for the Wayne County Public Schools, Mr. Williams was “Suspended With Pay” by the school district administration on February 22, 2022. Generally, suspensions are initiated by the district’s HR Department or the superintendent when an employee is criminally charged. This allows time for district staff to thoroughly investigate. This is especially important in instances when criminal charges arise from incidents on school property.
The school district’s personnel investigation into this matter is ongoing. There are disagreements among witnesses on key facts that are under review.
The group is asking that the charges be dropped against Williams, he be reinstated, that video of the event be released and that Deputy Wood be removed as a school resource officer. If the charges are not dropped, Williams will make his first court appearance on March 23rd.
Anthony Williams has been employed by WCPS as a science teacher at Southern Wayne High since 2008.