A day after being indicted and accused of acting as the ringleader of a 3-state teacher test-taking scheme, Clarence Mumford did not come to court in Tunica County, Mississippi. He was arrested by sheriff's deputies there in April after being picked up at a Robinsonville convenience store for DUI and indecent exposure. Mumford's trial in that case, set for Wednesday, has been continued. Meanwhile his Federal case in Memphis is just getting started.
"Anytime you do something to corrupt the education process of our children, it's de-testable," said Memphis Mayor AC Wharton.
School districts in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee are still waiting to hear if their teachers were involved in the scheme the U.S. Attorney's Office says operated between 1995 and 2010 and involved some 50 people.
"We don't have a whole lot of details yet. We're kind of awaiting some names as they provide those out and once they do we'll do what we need to do as far as an investigation," John Aitken, Superintendent of Shelby County Schools said.
After beginning with them in 1987, Mumford retired from Memphis City Schools in 2010 as a guidance counselor. He now works as a guidance counselor in Arkansas for the Hughes School District. The district has not yet commented about Mumford's job status, saying its superintendent is currently out of town.
"I don't know him personally. I have been here about 4 years and he's probably been here longer than I have," said Rosie Wilson.
Wilson is Mumford's neighbor in the Whitehaven area of Memphis. She says she worries about the kind of education kids received from teachers Mumford allegedly helped cheat.
"There are no shortcuts in life and for any teacher, who may have taken a short cut in order to meet qualifications for the teacher profession, I am every bit confident they will be dealt with not only through law enforcement but the administration of the school system," Memphis City School Board President, Martavius Jones said.
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