• FOX13 investigates memorandum regarding sexual assault claims sent to board members

    By: Leah Jordan

    Updated:

    The interim superintendent of Shelby County Schools has been cleared of a sexual harassment claim.

    A “semi-anonymous” letter was sent to Shelby County Schools, claiming he or she was sexually harassed by Dr. Joris Ray, the interim superintendent of Shelby County Schools. 

    The letter was signed "M. Jones."

    It reads, “in light of the ‘Me Too’ and ‘Time [sic] Up’ movement I can no longer stay silent and watch or hear about inappropriate sexual harassment and misconduct.” 

    It continues to say that Ray uses his power and position “to proposition and exploit women,” and that Ray did that to the author. The letter claimed Ray builds his department by “sucking up everyone’s programs and money while hiring his incompetent fraternity brothers.”

    To read the full letter, click here. 

    Jennifer Ervin, the General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer for Shelby County Schools, sent a memorandum to the Shelby County Board of Education Thursday evening. 

    It said after receiving the ‘semi-anonymous’ complaint in September 2018, the Office of the General Counsel immediately hired law firm Glankler Brown to begin an investigation. The Memo reads that the complainant failed to comply with SCBE Policy 4010 – meaning, they did not make the complaint to his or her supervisor or to the Federal Rights Coordinator. 

    The complainant also didn’t provide his or her identity, location, date, time, or a description of what happened. 

    The memo explains that, despite this, an outside investigator reached out to all actively employed individuals with the first name initial M, last name Jones, along with others. Investigators attempted to speak with a total of 19 individuals with the first name M, last name Jones.  

    Only one of those 19 people claimed to know Dr. Ray, and that person denied sexual harassment. 10 of the individuals said they didn’t know Ray, and the investigators weren’t able to get in touch with the remaining eight. 


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    Thursday, it was announced that the investigation was “concluded.” The Memo said the allegations were determined to be unfounded, and without merit. 

    On February 27, 2019, FOX13 asked SCS Board Member Miska Clay-Bibb if she had seen the letter alleging inappropriate behavior from Dr. Joris Ray. Clay-Bibb said she had not received the letter.

     FOX13 reached out to Clay-Bibb by email and phone on Thursday and Friday but has not been granted an interview.
     

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