Former principal testifies about 'go to hell' letters

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

ATLANTA - A former Atlanta Public Schools principal testified about the so-called Go to Hell memo meeting and said it made her feel very uncomfortable.

Former APS Area Director Tamara Cotman is on trial, accused of influencing a witness during the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests cheating scandal.

Prosecutors said that during a meeting of her area principals in November 2010, Cotman passed around memos titled "Go to Hell."

Former Harper-Archer Middle School Principal Dr. Allison Marks testified that Cotman asked all the principals to fill them out.

"(She said) it could be anybody," said Marks. "It can be parents. It can be the GBI, Sonny Perdue, it can be anybody."

An earlier witness testified Wednesday that she felt it was an attempt by Cotman to convince her principals not to cooperate with the GBI investigators.

"I don't know if I was intimidated," Marks testified Thursday. "But I was terribly uncomfortable. The tension in the room was ridiculous. It was really a very uncomfortable situation."

Another former APS principal testified that when he started asking about the disparity between CRCT scores and actual student achievement, he was singled out for reprimanding and later fired.