SHELBY CO., Tenn. - An investigation has concluded into the interim superintendent of Shelby County Schools.
According to a release from SCS, Dr. Joris Ray had been accused of sexual harassment in September 2018 in a “semi-anonymous” letter mailed to various district employees.
The report acknowledged that the anonymous complaint appeared to have been mailed just “days following the announcement of Dr. Ray’s promotion” to Chief of Academic Operations and School Support in September.
Following the accusation by an anonymous person who was known as “M. Jones,” district officials said they immediately launched an investigation. SCS retained Glankler Brown, PLLC to “assist in conducting an independent investigation.”
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In January, while the investigation was ongoing, Ray was chosen to be the SCS interim superintendent after Dorsey Hopson left.
Officials said the person who submitted the complaint did not provide his or her identity, location, date, time, circumstances of the incidents or a description of what happened.
In the complaint, which was included in the full report provided to SCS, M. Jones said she was sexually harassed by Ray and that other women have also been sexually harassed by him. M. Jones accused Ray of using his position with the Shelby County Board of Education to “proposition and exploit women.”
The letter also states that Ray “propositioned her and then talked about [her] behind [her] back,” according to the full report. M. Jones concluded that Ray’s alleged improper conduct was “no secret.”
During the investigation, SCS officials said several employees in the district – including those who worked closely with Ray, and Ray himself – were interviewed regarding the accusations.
Investigators were unable to identify who M. Jones was, and based on the findings of the investigation, the allegations were “determined to be unfounded and without merit,” according to SCS officials.
You can read the full investigation report here.
Below is the full statement released by SCS officials following the investigation:
“Last fall, Shelby County Schools received an undated, semi-anonymous complaint regarding Superintendent, Dr. Joris M. Ray. Immediately, the SCS Office of the General Counsel retained the services of Glankler Brown, PLLC to assist in conducting an independent investigation.
Despite Board policy, the author of the anonymous complaint did not provide his or her identity, location, date, time, circumstances of the alleged incidents or a description of what happened. Therefore, the outside investigator reached out to all actively employed individuals with the first name initial and last name of the person who submitted the anonymous complaint. Several other SCS employees who worked closely with Dr. Ray were also interviewed, and a search was conducted to determine whether any previous complaints had been made. Based on the findings, the allegations were determined to be unfounded and without merit. Having no additional information, the investigation was concluded.”
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