Bryant's License Suspended By State

By Lindsey Connell - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  February 27th, 2009- that is the day Susan Bryant is set to end her 10 year run as principal of Columbus High School. It is also the same day her teaching license is being suspended by the state.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission voted last week to suspend Bryant's certification for an entire year.

Based on an investigative report done by the Educator Ethics Division, the Commission found that Bryant did not properly report a teacher's sexual misconduct to authorities.

Former English teacher James Cypert was arrested in 2007 and charged with four counts of sexual assault with two separate female students. He voluntarily surrendered his teaching license and is already out of jail.

In their report, the Commission found that Bryant had received complaints about Cypert's inappropriate behavior with students dating as far back as 2001 and that she didn't follow up on some of the reports.

The report also states that Columbus police had a warrant out for Bryant's arrest for not reporting the illegal sexual contact.

The Assistant District Attorney found that the statute of limitations had run out and she was never arrested.

Bryant officially submitted a retirement letter to the school district this week..days after she had reached a negotiated settlement with the Professional Standards Commission for the one year suspension. Meanwhile, the school district didn't know a settlement had been reached.

Officials with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission say after the year-long suspension is over, Bryant's license will automatically be reinstated.

Bryant would not have been able to keep her position without her certification.

A spokesperson for the Muscogee County School District says the superintendent is recommending one of the school's three assistant principals, Judy Whitt, as interim principal.

We're told the school board will vote on that at their next meeting on March 3, 2009 unless a meeting is called before then.