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APS Candidate, Hayes-Tavares, Has Arrest Record, PTA Ban, Pending Lawsuit

(APN) ATLANTA -- Shawnna Hayes-Tavares, a candidate for Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education (District 6), has an arrest record and is the subject of several investigations and actions involving JC Young Middle School, Atlanta Progressive News can reveal.

Hayes-Tavares was arrested on August 08, 2011, by DeKalb County Police, on three charges, including giving a false name and false information to the police, a misdemeanor; driving while license suspended or revoked; and maximum limits, according to the website.  The website posts arrests records from jurisdictions across the US, based upon open records requests.

The website also posts a copy of Hayes-Tavares’s mug shot, available here:



In addition, APN has obtained a copy of several Meetings Minutes from the JC Young Middle School (JCYMS) Local School Council (LSC) Meetings raising several concerns about Hayes-Tavares’s record as a parent leader.  

Currently, the LSC is preparing to take legal action against Hayes-Tavares over approximately 970 dollars in funds that Hayes-Tavares allegedly collected from parents.

Some of these minutes used to appear on the school’s website, but were taken down by APS after Hayes-Tavares complained and threatened to take action against APS.

APN has also obtained copies of email correspondence between Hayes-Tavares and several school officials, where she requested numerous times--in an escalatingly threatening manner--that the minutes be removed from the school’s website.

“Let this serve as a notice that if this is not taken down within 48 hours, you, JCYMS, APS will be held accountable for this action,” Hayes-Tavares wrote in an email dated August 12, 2013, to JCYMS Principal Kelvin Griffin.

“My next steps will be to report you to the APS Internal Resolutions and attend every single Board meeting to speak against this character you are exhibiting.  As well as start the legal process in this matter.  This is not a threat, but a way of to [sic] resolve this issue,” Hayes-Tavares wrote in an email dated August 15.

Hayes-Tavares was President of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) at JCYMS “during school year 2006-2007 when the use of ~$10,000 + or - funds were under investigation by PTA. The investigation could not be completed because all the JCYMS PTA books/records were stolen,” the March 2012 minutes state.

“PTA sent a letter to JCYMS/Principal Thomas Kenner stating that this parent [Hayes-Tavares] could no longer serve on PTA,” the March 2012 minutes state.

“At the beginning of school year 2011-2012, the same parent announced she was returning to JCYMS and was asked by a local school council member and the Principal (Dr. Griffin) about the PTA incident and the letter.  The parent acknowledged that there was a letter from PTA banning her from PTA but she added that she has a letter dated shortly after the incident from PTA that clears her of all charges.  The parent never produced the official letter from PTA clearing her to participate as a leader and fund collector for PTA,” the March 2012 minutes state.

However, Hayes-Tavares’s financial management issues continued after her return to JCYMS, according to the minutes.

“In late February 2012, the JCYMS LSC was asked by JCYMS parents to inquire about gift certificates that were collected by one parent – Shawnna Hayes-Tavares to be given as gifts to the teachers before Christmas 2011.  The parent collecting the gift certificates said she left them on a desk at the school and they were stolen.  The parent could not produce a record of what was collected,” the March 2012 minutes state.

The June 2012 minutes included a report on further investigation into Hayes-Tavares’s record at APS, including a report based on information provided by Sandra Perrino, Tenth District Director for the Georgia PTA.

Perrino “responded on official Georgia PTA letterhead that in 2007 Shawnna Hayes-Tavares was president of JCYMS PTA and it was brought to the attention of Georgia PTA that funds were possibly misappropriated,” the June 2012 minutes state.

“An audit was completed and the following was found: 1. Deposits came up short 2. Receipts not accounted for 3. Inappropriate use of petty cash 4. Lack of attention to details 5. Not insuring that a monthly reconciliation and treasurer’s report was completed 6. Not completing the appropriate forms to request funds,” the June 2012 minutes state.

“Shawnna Hayes-Tavares was asked to sign a document which would give the PTA association some understanding of a clear relationship and actions she would abide by within the association.  Shawnna Hayes-Tavares did not sign the document,” the June 2012 minutes state.

“Furthermore, Georgia PTA is unaware of a letter exonerating Shawnna Hayes-Tavares in this incident,” the June 2012 minutes state.

“The official response from PTA clearly states that Shawnna Hayes-Tavares has not been exonerated and the matter has not been resolved.  Shawnna Hayes-Tavares was given access to funds based on the untruth she told Dr. Griffin.  The JCYMS LSC finds that Shawnna Hayes-Tavares has broken the trust of the community at large.  The JCYMS LSC concludes that Shawnna Hayes-Tavares cannot hold any positions of leadership at JCYMS – to include but not limited to committee chair positions, facilitating meetings, organizing, and coordinating afterschool programs,” the June 2012 minutes state.

The March 2013 minutes describe yet another financial mismanagement issue.

“It came to the attention of the LSC that Shawnna Hayes-Tavares, a parent at JCYMS, held a Majorette camp during July 2013 at Jean Childs Young Middle School without permission and charged parents for the camp and for majorette uniforms,” the March 2013 minutes state.

“The JCYMS LSC is concerned because Mrs. Hayes-Tavares did not have permission from the administration to have the camp on the school’s campus or collect money from the parents.  Mrs. Hayes-Tavares was told by Dr. Griffin, principal at JCYMS, to end the camp, return receipts, and return all monies collected to Ms. Scott (Dr. Griffin’s administrative assistant).  To this date, Mrs. Hayes-Tavares has not returned any money, receipts or uniforms to the parents, Dr. Griffin, or Ms. Scott,” the March 2013 minutes state.

“Per the students and parents/guardians - a total of $970 was paid to Mrs. Hayes-Tavares. Parents were given receipts for the $25 camp fee.  Most were not given receipts for the uniform payments,” the March 2013 minutes state.

“The seamstress that was contracted by Mrs. Hayes-Tavares to make the uniforms was contacted and asked if she received money to sew the uniforms.  She stated in writing that she only received $25 for pattern.  She turned in a receipt that shows that she paid less than $20 for the majorette uniform pattern (receipt and email are on file at the school).  She did not receive any other monies,” the March 2013 minutes state.

"Dr. Griffin met with Mrs. Hayes-Tavares after he shut the camp down and asked her to provide his office with copies of any receipts, contracts and communications regarding the camp and uniforms.  He also asked for all monies to be returned to the school,” the March 2013 minutes state.

“Mrs. Hayes-Tavares acknowledges that she was asked to provide these items in an email dated Thursday, August 2, 2012 (on file at the school) to Dr. Griffin,” the March 2013 minutes state.

“To this date, no monies, receipts or uniforms have been provided by Mrs. Hayes-Tavares.  Angry parents/guardians demanded their money from Dr. Griffin and JCYMS paid the parents/guardians a total of $970 to make them whole,” the March 2013 minutes state.

“The JCYMS LSC agreed to pursue legal action against Shawnna Hayes-Tavares to attempt recovery of the $970 paid out to the parents and for her use of the facility.  Bill Scott, Director of the Office of Internal Compliance for Atlanta Public Schools will be contacted to start the investigation process,” the March 2013 minutes state.

APN requested a copy of the police report in connection with the 2011 arrest from the DeKalb County Police Department’s Public Information Officer, but was referred to another office to make an open records request.  As of publication, APN had not immediately heard back from the open records administrator.

Hayes-Tavares did not respond to numerous requests from APN for response to several questions posed by APN regarding the arrest and PTA issues, including numerous phonecalls, an email, and a text message.  Prior to receiving the questions, Hayes-Tavares had been generally responsive to APN and had participated in an interview about her position on APS issues.

Also running for the District 6 seat is Eshe Collins.  Collins has never responded to an APN media request.  APN recently reported that Collins is one of four former Teach for America (TFA) alumni seeking an APS BOE seat, and that TFA is generally pushing its alumni to run for office to promote an agenda of privatization, charter schools, and undermining of teachers’ unions.


Comments (14)

Alana Mitchell
Said this on 8-22-2013 At 05:53 pm

This news is unfortunate, but not surprising. For years individuals have abused positions of power to further their own agendas with no concern for the families and communities their actions ultimately affect. Clearly Ms. Shawnna Hayes-Tavares has no integrity and is not trustworthy, yet she's seeking to lead APS schools as a "trusted board member".  From the audacious accounts in this article, it will be a TRAGEDY if she wins this seat. I am a tax paying parent of District 6 and it is unfortunate that I have never been able to trust the schools/system to educate my child. The lack of high expectations, quality teaching, quality leadership, and trust has lead me to seek other means to educate my child. As a full time parent and professional, this has not been easy. I have had to take on part time jobs, and squeeze my schedule so that my child can get the education he deserves. It's unfair and its time for a change. I hope and pray that an individual like Ms. Hayes-Tavares does not gain access to to the District 6 seat. Moreover, I hope and pray for an individual who has proven to love our children and the community and who will lead with a gumption to ask themselves at all times "Is it good for the children?". Surely Ms. Hayes-Tavares has not asked herself this question in years.

T. Mahdi
Said this on 8-23-2013 At 02:42 pm

Wow, this article is MISLEADING in so many ways... let me state for the record, MY child was a student at JCYMS when Ms Hayes-Tavares was the PTA President, she was a knowledgeable, committed and passionate LEADER that brought new, creative energy to JCY that was NOT there before her! I can honestly say and I'm SURE many PARENTS would agree, she was more dedicated to helping to improve JCY than SOME of the people that WORKED there!

I REMEMBER when this incident happened with the PTA, it was explained to the PARENTS of JCY, Ms Hayes-Tavares ahd NOTHING to do with ANY missing money from the PTA and was doing all that SHE could to help rectify the situation! I wonder if Matt even talked with Mr. Kenner, the PRINCIPAL of JCY during that time? I guess NOT because if he did, he would've NEVER written such slanderous, lies about Ms Hayes-Tavares, a woman that has a PROVEN track record of WORKING, not only for JCYMS, but for the BETTERMENT of APS in general!

Do you really BELIEVE that of LEADER in APS could STEAL $10,000 from the PTA and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, WSB, WXIA, FOX and other media outlets NOT report that story?! Yeah right, they would have been on it like a dog on a bone! The difference is that those organizations have REAL journalist that would investigate the FACTS before just reporting such blatant UNTRUTHS because of the legalities that they would have to deal with! I'm not familiar with the laws of libel/slander as it relates to the internet, but I HOPE Ms Hayes-Tavares is because I'm truly APPALLED that these ONLINE so-called "journalist" like Matt even have a forum to post such garbage like this, SHAME ON YOU!  

Said this on 8-23-2013 At 02:59 pm
Excuse me. The candidate had the opportunity to respond and bring up any points that she felt were pertinent, but declined to do so.
Said this on 8-23-2013 At 02:55 pm

What a Shame Ms. Mitchell.  I also live in District 6 and I just got off Mrs. Hayes-Tavares website and I see she has a long time history with PTA leadership.  I also took the liberty to call her from a number listed on the site and learned some wonderful things.  How can someone who was sent on an all expense paid trip sponsored by the GA PTA be banned from the PTA.  She travelled to DC last October to represent the PTA, seems interesting they would sponsor someone they banned, I also see she has served almost every year her children have been in school.  

I guess for me, one negative article right before the week of qualifying, during an election year is not enough evidence for me to crucify her.  As a matter of fact, I am impressed with the amount of volunteer leadership she has, her being a parent and the interesting thing is, the principal at the school even has a quote on her site stating what a great parent she is.  

I would love to have someone like her represent me.  And I hope as an informed voter who obviously cares about "at least" your child's eduaction, would care enough about others to want a hard working, committed parent on the board.  Hope you don't decide to be a champion of children and let us start digging up and creating dirt about you!

Burroughston Broch
Said this on 8-23-2013 At 01:28 am

She will fit in the APS Board just fine, as she is a bird of the same feather. If she cannot get on the APS Board, she can find like fellows on the DeKalb Board.

YoungMS Teacher
Said this on 8-23-2013 At 03:22 pm

This is absurd! I was a teacher then and am one now at Young Middle School.  What a waste of time, energy and internet space.  Let me tell you what Mrs. Hayes-Tavares did, she was the hardest working parent I have seen in 12 years of teaching, I am so angry I did not know where to start.  To think we would allow someone not from here and has not been in our community to determine who we appreciate.  I know Matt comes from New Orleans and the other parent who was the spearheder of this I hear comes from Florida.  

Atlanta, are going to allow outsiders to tell us how to think?

Ms. Hayes-Tavares, painted bathrooms for teachers, beautified them, she had monthly teacher, staff and parent appreciation events; she made sure that everyday of teacher appreciation week, the teachers as well as the staff were shown appreciation; she made sure that every organization received rewards and donations, she made sure that Young was on the SPLOST list after being ignored for 20 years, we had trailers some of my parents who had children there went to school in those same trailers.  She had colored professional newsletters, she made sure parents understood and had high expectations, she supported special needs children, she sponsored and worked afterschool with students for free with students, she developed JCY News and Brenda Wood come and work with students, she sponsored Elegant Young Ladies, she made sure we had a black history and holiday program great, I even remember she did not have a child and band Mr. Jeffery called her and she sponsored Java and Jazz for parents and community to listen to our great band, she helped with communications, and when Katrina hit, she hosted a welcome and gave each child a welcome packet.  

I was highly impressed with her energy.  At the 8th grade graduation, she was given the parent of the year award! Whew! I can go on.  She inspired me as a teacher, my colleagues and the other parents, who I know personally were energized because of her.  How dare this community come down on a shero like Ms. Hayes-Tavares.  I will meet anyone on the street to vouch for her. She made teaching a joy and guess what it has not been the same since she was in leadership.  These parents here now, well I will reserve that comment.  But I know the parent who kept those minutes, even after APS said they were illegal.  She gave them to him, what people will not do or say to be important.  Ms. Tavares, is a hard worker and a dedicated parent.  What kind of people could do this to her, to her reputation and to her children that are still in APS.

Shame on the Black Community! I expect this from them, but us, we know the oppression, ridicule and slander to our people.  I have become a better teacher because of Mrs. Tavares and I know other teachers here will agree. If we had $10,000 to give Ms. Hayes-Tavares, it would never be enough for her leadership.  As a matter of fact, I am so fired up, I am going to donate money to her right now and I will encorage and almost demand my friends to do the same.  Power to the People should to be our mantra!  

Said this on 8-23-2013 At 03:31 pm
Dear T. Mahdi, Terry, and YoungMS Teacher,

First, it's obvious that this is a coordinated effort by the campaign.

Second, YOU ALL HAVE THE SAME IP ADDRESS, SO you're actually making the matter worse by showing Hayes-Tavares's campaign to be engaging is deceptive, fraudulent, misleading practices, directed towards out readers.

One more post from this IP address and I start blocking. I leave these three up only as evidence of what the Hayes-Tavares campaign appears to be up to.
Said this on 8-23-2013 At 03:39 pm
Dear Shawnna,
Upon further research, I have identified the IP address as YOURS.

You made a big mistake today impersonating people in an attempt to mislead our readers. You should have just responded to the questions I posed to you, either before or even after the article was published.

IP address Yeah, you used it on 7-8-2013 at 01:13pm to comment on our interview with you. You wrote in first person, "I."

Big mistake. MCC
APS Advocate
Said this on 8-23-2013 At 09:31 pm

I am shocked and offended that Ms. Hayes-Tavares would impersonate a Young Middle School teacher and other community members as a tool for defending herself against these allegations.  

The issues raised by APN deserve a real response, not deceitful defenses from non-existent people.

Unfortunatley, the actions taken by Ms. Hayes-Tavares today only seem to confirm the character concerns raised in the article.  If Ms. Hayes-Tavares was willing to lie to the police about her identify, should we be surprised that she would also lie about her identity online?

In my opinion, this pattern of behavior renders Ms. Hayes-Tavares unfit for office.  It is unfortunate because alongside these clearly troubling actions, she has also been an important advocate for equity in the system.

Though I cannot in good concience support her candidacy, I hope that Ms. Hayes-Tavares will continue her advocacy from the sidelines and commit to a life of honesty going forward.  

Said this on 8-24-2013 At 11:02 am


Good morning to all of you. My name is Barbara Simpson.  To the APN editor:

  • I am a native of Atlanta
  • I am a graduate of  The Traditional Atlanta Public Schools System along with my two children and all 3 sisters and 1 brother
  • I am a District 2, along with others a "Public School Educational Advocate"
I was honored to meet Mrs. Hayes-Tavares almost two years ago, when I came out of retirement and became involved in the issue of School Closings.

For the record, she was the one who brought me up to date with information that was desperately needed in order to further understand what was going on with School closings and re-districting. I listen and learned. She was a great Teacher.

i watched her, followed her and supported her efforts; after all she was the only person over the last several years, who spoke up about issues of concerns, as they related to Public Education on the Siuthside. I admire her and I appreciate everything that she has done and will continue to do.

MCC: I understand you are a journalist. But what, I don't understand is why you would write such a story about such an extraordinary woman of GOD!

As a woman of GOD, I must say, I have to say and I will say, this was not the article that I would have liked to have read about anyone. 

If you were desperate for a story, I have several for starters:
  • Mold and Mildew at Booker T. Washington High School
  • Sewage and Plumbing problems at Washington High School
  • 141 graduates for 2013 from Washington High School
  • Low student morale
  • Entrance to the building where students check in and go through metal detectors, looking like the entrance of a prison cell, yet The Leadership Team at Washington drag their feet to have "Welcome  to Bulldog Country, painted on the wall for students that it would be the beginning of making them feel welcome and to be proud to attend Washington High
  • Low parent morale
  • Parents who have students in The Traditional Atlanta Public School System not feeling welcome in the School in which their child attend
  • No active up and running PTA/PTSA at Washington High, Brown Middle or Bethune Elementary but yet The APS website sates "every Atlanta Public School has A PTA," that is not true, while Charters Schools have, what is called PTO and parents are made to feel welcome and they are included in their child's education
  • Requesting audit for 5 years from Washinton High PTA / PTSA organization for concerns, as it relates to being in compliance with Georgia PTA Association
  • Demanding to have Kennedy Middle School re-opened so that within 5 years, Washington High will not close due to low enrollment
  • Closing Schools and re-opening Schools within Washington High
Just to name a few.

It was Mrs. Hayes-Tavares who shed some light on many of the above mentioned issues. I listened and I learned. I respect her.

in my conclusion, I am shocked beyond belief. I do not believe what you have written. Did you have to post her mug shot? She is a mother and wife. Did you not think of what this might do to her family? I guess not! What happened to being innocent until proven guilty?

Respectfully yours,

Barbara Simpson, APSWATCHDOG 

Said this on 8-24-2013 At 11:14 am

Typo: should be Southside in lieu of Siuthside

Said this on 8-25-2013 At 12:09 am

Typo: states in lieu of sates

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