SHEFFIELD — A Sheffield High alternative school teacher told school board members last week that he believes that he's the target of discrimination.

Chauncey Jones filed his complaint after Superintendent Keith Davis failed to include him in plans to move the location of the alternative school, and pay him for the extra 45 minutes per day he must work.

A 21-year employee of the Sheffield system, Jones said he has not filed a formal grievance against Davis because he is hoping to get resolution after bringing the issue to the board's attention.

Jones said he was never notified that the alternative school location was changing from the central office to the high school. The change was made this school year.

Likewise, he said his work hours were changed from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to 7:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. without the additional pay. 

"This new location for the alternative school could easily be described as the worst classroom in the building in terms of appearance," Jones said. "I wanted to be on the same schedule I'd had, which allowed for less chance of interaction with the general population of students."

As far as his pay is concerned, "I just want to be paid for the time I work," Jones said.

Davis said he had not spoken with Jones prior to Thursday night's school board meeting.

"The alternative school was moved to allow teachers better accessibility to those students," the superintendent said, adding that the teachers previously would have to leave campus during the school day and drive to the central office. "The hours we set for the (alternative school) day are designed to match school hours as well."

Jones, who is black, said he also believes that when the school system closed its JROTC program a year ago and lost a black instructor, top administrators tried to balance the minority numbers on the high school campus by placing him there.

Jones said the school board listened to his concerns, and he believes they're working expediently to solve the issues. He said he had a Friday meeting scheduled with administrators to discuss his concerns.

"They were fair," Jones said of the school board members. "I just wanted the process to begin. Perhaps the alternative school needs to stay at the high school, but I definitely need my schedule situation resolved."


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