Valdosta Teen Found Guilty in Student-Teacher Dispute

By: Dontaye Carter Email
By: Dontaye Carter Email

There's no place like home for 14-year-old Calaundre Gascot who spent nearly a month behind bars at the Regional Youth Detention Center.

"It feels good, better than RYDC," said Calaundre.

"Well, it's been 21 days of mental anguish and pain for me and suffering but I'm better," said Tabatha Gascot.

Calaundre was arrested and accused of hitting his teacher Ashley Cody on September 24Th.

Thursday morning, family and friends entered the Lowndes County Juvenile Court for Calaundre's Detention hearing.

Students, Ashley Cody and an officer who were all at Valdosta Middle School on the day of the alleged incident testified before a judge.

Some of the kids said they never saw Calaundre hit Cody--they said he only pulled away from her after she grabbed him.

Cody said the students gave a false testimony in their statements. She said she never touched Calaundre and says she told the class whoever couldn't behave would go to in school suspension.

When Calaundre attempted to leave she says she stepped in his way and pointed to the seat she wanted him to sit in and may have touched him while pointing to the seat.

An officer who performed a second investigation into the case pointed out there were inconsistencies in Cody's statements and added from her investigation it didn't seem that Calaundre was trying to hit the teacher.

Judge Wayne Ellerbee found Calaundre guilty of simple battery and classroom disruption and sentenced him to 12 months of probation.

He also has to finish the Creating a Responsible Thinker program.

Although his parents are happy to have their boy home they plan on appealing the judges ruling.

"Guess we'll pursuing a little further to have more of the truth come out because I don't think it was fair, the out come today," said Juan Gascot.


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  • by James Location: valdosta on Oct 15, 2010 at 04:11 PM
    I am going to pray for both of the individuals involved in the incident. My hope is that instead of critical comments being hurled at either party, we as a community can try to help the people involved in situations like this. From what I read, the classroom environment did not sound like one of learning. One of our jobs as citizens is to make sure that our children and teachers know what is at stake when it comes to education. My guess is that there are classrooms like this one scattered across this school and other schools across the city. The education of our children is the most important factor influencing our community's future. Let us not get excited about this story for two weeks and then forget about it once highschool football playoffs start. Our education system in this city is struggling and has been for some time now. We are all to blame for this incident. What will you do to help your community's children and teachers in the months and years to come?
  • by Douglas Location: Ochlocknee on Oct 15, 2010 at 01:26 PM
    sounds to me like this Judge is prejudice or has a personal vendetta. If you have students, teachers and law enforcement officers saying it didn't happen then "it didn't happen". both the Judge and the Teacher need to be removed from their jobs permanently.
  • by Katie Location: Valdosta on Oct 15, 2010 at 07:11 AM
    Once again Elerbee abused his power!! Imagine that. I'm amazed that he needed to clarify the teachers testimony. she tesitifed under oath. I hope the mother does appeal and I would think someone would make a move to relieve Elerbee and Cody.
  • by Leigh Location: Valdosta on Oct 15, 2010 at 04:24 AM
    When the detective testified as to inconsistencies in the teacher's story, and 3 middle school children testified that they never saw the boy strike his teacher, I presumed the burden of beyond a reasonable doubt was not met. Then I watched Judge Ellerbee editorialize from the bench, tell everyone what the teacher really meant, badger the first middle school child witness accusing him of lying, and then watched the prosecutor badger the children accusing them of being bad kids because they weren't at the Good Behavior party...the whole scenario was a travesty of justice. Why wasn't this little boy given bail in the first place? At one point the judge reveled in how the little boy had now "learned what the Detention center was like" and said that part of his punishment was because he had spent time in ISS. Note to Judge Ellerbee: ISS is not for CRIMINAL acts. The whole thing was a travesty.
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