Schools chief defends keeping accused Ala. teacher

By the Associated Press | January 9, 2012 | 5:43 PM EST

ALABASTER, Ala. (AP) — A longtime Alabama school board president is defending the panel's decision in 1993 to reinstate a teacher who was accused of molesting a student, even though the teacher is now charged with more abuse.

The president of the Shelby County Board of Education, Lee Doebler, says he voted to put teacher Danny Acker back in the classroom after a 1992 abuse accusation because a grand jury didn't indict him and many former students and their parents supported him as character witnesses.

Doebler, also a professor at the University of Montevallo, was president of the board in 1993 and remains in that position.

Doebler says two of his children were taught by Acker and liked him.

Acker is now in jail charged with four counts of sexual abuse involving two young girls in the early 1990s and in 2009.