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Douglas Anderson investigations could take weeks or more

Published on April 3, 2023 at 12:27 pm

Duval Schools may take weeks or even months to investigate two teachers, at least one of them accused of inappropriate contact with a student at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, the superintendent says.

Superintendent Diana Greene sent a message to parents Friday after a second teacher was removed from the classroom for unspecified reasons. English teacher Kerry Burke-McCloud was moved to duties off campus, without student contact.

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Burke-McCloud has not been charged with a crime, but the action came days after Jeffrey Payne Clayton, chair of the vocal music department, was charged with soliciting lewd conduct with a student. Clayton retired last week as the district moved to fire him.

“I am very disappointed to hear of so many students and alumni whose high school experience has been clouded with these terrible memories,” Greene told parents. “DA is a special place and is home to some incredibly talented students. But they are students, and every student deserves a safe and effective learning environment.”

Greene said investigations “tend to be measured in weeks or months. We must take the time to do it right to ensure fairness and accountability.”

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Principal Tina Wilson told parents Burke-McCloud was moved “out of an abundance of caution” during a professional standards review. Wilson encouraged any parents with information to share it with Tameiko Grant, who is leading the investigations. Parents can email Grant at grantT1@duvalschools.org.

Wilson stressed that Burke-McCloud is presumed innocent, and no details about the concerns were released.

In Clayton’s case, he was accused of exchanging about 1,700 text messages with a student believed to be over 18 years old. An arrest warrant said he rubbed the student’s leg and kissed her during an after-school voice lesson.

Clayton joined Douglas Anderson as a music teacher in 2000. Burke-McCloud has taught in Duval Schools for four years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is a graduate of Yale University.


author image Senior News Director, WJCT Public Media

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 35 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. 

author image Senior News Director, WJCT Public Media

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 35 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida.