After a heartfelt letter from a student went viral from a man who claims to be an Atlanta-based teacher, school officials confirm with ESSENCE that his story may not be true.
A man who claims to be a fifth grade teacher and recently garnered national attention for a letter he said a student wrote him may not actually be an educator.
Turns out – he isn’t even a certified teacher in the state of Georgia.
As Atlanta Journal Constitution Education reporter Molly Bloom discovered, no one by the name of Jermaine Stubbs works in Fulton County, according to officials.
Since the AJC published their article on Monday, Stubbs has expressed his frustration about the allegations and has even threatened to sue the paper.
In a recent interview with ESSENCE, Stubbs said that he was an Atlanta-based fifth grade teacher at Manning Oaks Elementary School and opened up about the alleged letter that he received from a student named Markus.
However, Manning Oaks Elementary officials have confirmed over the phone that no one by that name works at the school and a district spokesperson Susan Hale told the AJC the same information.
But since the accusations, Stubbs' 11,000 Twitter followers have taken note and are calling on him to prove himself. One Twitter user has even called him the #CatfishTeacher.
Additionally, The Georgia School News Twitter account wrote on social media that he is "unknown by the school system."
In his story with 11Alive News, Stubbs told reporters that he is “a paraprofessional at Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy in Atlanta and this was his very first year.”
Tina Wolfe, a spokesperson for the Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy, confirmed with ESSENCE that no one by the name of Jermaine Stubbs has worked there in the last two years.
“He graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Middle Grade Education and plans on taking his GACE Test in order to be a fully licensed teacher,” the report in 11Alive News said.
While he said that he graduated from Georgia State with a degree in Middle Grade Education, that major is titled Middle Level Education at the University.
Although Georgia State could not verify that he was a student via telephone, ESSENCE sought verification of his degree online from The National Clearinghouse.
In an email, The Clearinghouse said that they were unable to verify a degree with someone by the name of Jermaine Stubbs. The email also noted that he could not be confirmed for a variety of reasons, including the obvious one, which is that "the individual never enrolled."
Stubbs has not returned any phone calls to address the allegations.
Tanya A. Christian contributed to this report.