Attorney: Beloved Valley Principal will be absolved; needs to return to students she loves

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VALLEY, Ala. (WRBL) – The attorney for a well known east Alabama principal is speaking first to News 3 after his client was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this week.

Dr. Frankie Bell, the Principal of W F Burns School in Valley, was told to leave school on Wednesday and placed on paid administrative leave.

Thursday, the Superintendent of Chambers County Schools, Dr. Kelly Hodge, told News 3 Dr. Bell was placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation was being conducted into allegations which were made.

Dr. Hodge declined to state specifics as to what the allegations were about.

Friday morning, Dr. Hodge told News 3, the investigation is still ongoing.

Attorney Zach Alsobrook is representing Dr. Bell and released the following statement to News 3 on Friday afternoon:

Dr. Frankie Bell is one of the most beloved Principals in the Chambers County School System. She has been recognized and honored annually for her work as a Principal, Assistant Principal, and teacher since she started with the Chambers County School System in 2012.

Dr. Bell and I had a meeting with the County Officials on Thursday afternoon. It was a productive informational meeting in which it was laid out by DHR and the Superintendent exactly what issues are presenting in regards to the mandatory reporting requirements. We were informed that this matter remains under investigation. We were not informed of any specific facts regarding any allegations short of what the current Superintendent offered upon additional questioning.

We look forward to the “investigation” concluding so that Dr. Bell can get back to working for the children of Chambers County that she loves so dearly. This entire matter is unfortunate and should be resolved promptly.

Dr. Bell has always performed her job in accordance with her understanding of DHR’s mandatory reporting requirements. Dr. Bell is adamant that if this investigation is performed objectively and without any subjective political bias that she will be wholly absolved of any improprieties.”

News 3 reached out again to Dr. Hodge to see if the investigation has been completed and to ask if and when Dr. Bell would return to school. We are waiting to hear back.

We will keep you updated.

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