The courtroom where 10 convicted former educators will be sentenced today is packed to capacity, mostly with family and friends of the defendants.
They wore yellow wristbands to show their support. Several in the crowd said they hoped the defendants receive probation and community service. An extra courtroom was opened to accommodate those who couldn’t fit into the courtroom where the seven-month trial took place.
Debbie Bythwood Murray, who worked with defendant Dana Evans as an instructional coach at Dobbs Elementary, said she didn’t think time in prison would be appropriate.
“I hope she won’t receive any jail time,” Murray said. “That would probably be the lesser of two evils. She was only accused of not knowing what was going on. She wasn’t caught red-handed.”
Anneta Price is a friend of Evans from Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church who said Evans helps the community by teaching computer skills to the homeless.
“Definitely no jail time for her,” Price said. “It’s a bad situation, unfortunately, for the teachers who were caught up in it.
“They are not violent offenders. She would be able to better serve society with her gifts and talents if she isn’t in jail.”