desks school stock classroom

Advocate file photo of school desks.

A Livingston Parish schools choir director, Edwin Elsey, has been placed on administrative leave and the district is reviewing its hiring practices, but the district was vague in a Thursday afternoon statement about the grounds for the discipline.

Elsey is currently on administrative leave pending termination proceedings from his teaching position with Doyle High School and Walker Freshman High School, and has been employed by the district since July 2018, according to the statement from Livingston Parish Schools.

The statement says the district found sufficient grounds to terminate Elsey, and Superintendent Joe Murphy has directed the district to immediately conduct a review of its human resources hiring policies, procedures and practices.

Livingston Parish Schools spokeswoman Delia Taylor said Thursday she could not release any more information on the nature of the case, but news reports from 2016 at the University of North Alabama — Elsey's prior place of employment — indicate he was fired from that job for a sexual harassment incident.

The student newspaper, the Flor-Ala, said Elsey had been a music instructor with the university since 2002 before he was terminated in 2015 once a complaint was filed against him.

In a statement the newspaper says was sent from Elsey, he said he sent a Facebook message to a UNA student in 2014 that he "should not have sent."

The woman reported the message to the music department chair the next year, but claims he had no inappropriate contact with the student.

"Over the last six months, I have been successful working on some personal issues. I have done so in order to make better decisions in all aspects of my life," Elsey's statement on the college newspaper's website reads.

Communications officials with the University of North Alabama were not immediately available for comment Thursday.

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