SCS report: Former school official cited for ‘toxic work environment’


DeAnna McClendon

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Newly released documents show former Shelby County Schools administrator DeAnna McClendon was under investigation after multiple complaints from employees.

The investigation did not find evidence to support many of the allegations, including discrimination based on ethnicity, employee intimidation and misappropriation of grant funds.

But according to a July 12 letter sent by SCS to McClendon, the district classified her as “Do Not Rehire” after determining she had violated board policy in her ‘”questionable” employee promotion practices, retaliated against employees, fostered a “toxic work environment” and failed to provide leadership for the Head Start program.

McClendon, the former director of early childhood education, was placed on paid leave during the investigation by SCS earlier this year, but was hired as director of schools by Monroe County, Tennessee during that investigation. She resigned from SCS July 5.

At the time, SCS officials did not specify the allegations against McClendon.

A clause in her Monroe County contract stated that if anything came up from the Shelby County investigation, McClendon would resign.

McClendon, who was promoted by SCS to director of early childhood education in 2014, had a starting salary of $120,000, according to SCS documents.

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