ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News has learned the Atlanta school system allowed a high school principal to resign without telling state authorities he'd been caught in a graphic sexting scandal.
Investigative reporter Richard Belcher learned that former Atlanta Public Schools principal is now in charge of a Clayton County high school.
Eldrick Horton, now at North Clayton High School, sent the message to a teacher who worked for him and it cost him his job in Atlanta.
Stephen Katz, expert in education law, says APS clearly had a duty to report that to the state, but instead the principal walked away.
Belcher caught up with Horton outside his school. He made no effort to dispute the coarse text message he sent one of his teachers five years ago.
It reads in part, "Being around you makes me want to have sex with you. You're too much my type. I struggle with it."
After she reported Horton to senior APS administrators a year later, Horton wrote then Superintendent Errol Davis the following:
"I am ashamed, embarrassed and disappointed....I respectfully ask for your forgiveness...if your decision does not render me being an assistant principal or a teacher, I plead with you to allow me to resign."
A month later, Horton submitted a letter of resignation saying his reason was personal.
APS did not report the sexting incident to the state agency that licenses and oversees educators.
"This is not something that was even a close call. They had a duty to report it even if he resigned and they didn't do it. They didn't know what else was there. They didn't know what else he would do, had done or would do in the future," Katz said.
Within a year, Horton was hired by Clayton County. He's now principal of North Clayton High School.
He told Belcher he left APS in the best interest of his former school, Douglass High School.
When Belcher asked Horton about his behavior, he said, "Mr. Belcher, what I've done is I've tried to do my job wherever I've been. I don't think that I'm any more perfect than you or anyone else is, and as all of us have personal and professional resolve, I have likewise. My point of where I am today is about working to do what's best for the children."
In an email to Belcher, APS said when Horton resigned his file was marked do not rehire. The statement also said the district has made considerable improvement and its compliance with reporting requirements to the state.
Clayton County schools declined to comment because it's a personnel matter.
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