BY SARAH STEPHENS
Top Photo: Daniel Taylor is a former assistant principal at Coosada Elementary in Elmore County.
Since January of 2021, former Coosada Elementary Assistant Principal Daniel Taylor has been on paid administrative leave after being charged with child abuse. His wife, Jessica Taylor, was also charged at the same time. Their cases are pending trial in Elmore County, as they were indicted by a grand jury last year. An exact date for the trial has not been set.
However, in a move approved by the Elmore County School Board recently, Daniel Taylor is now set to begin a new job with the Elmore County School System listed as a transfer to Special Education – Annex Student Services Facilitator, which is a new position.
Elmore County School Supt. Richard Dennis confirmed the new position for Taylor.
“We have been paying him anyway,” Dennis said. “Daniel will be assisting administration. He is a certified, paid employee and we will be utilizing his abilities with special education.”
Dennis stressed that Taylor will not be instructing children, or in a classroom setting.
Dennis said that in his entire education career, he has never seen a teacher shortage like what is now being experienced across the nation, and absolutely within his school district.
“We are going to use his (Daniel’s) experience, rather than try to fill that position with a new hire,” Dennis said, stressing, again that Taylor has remained on the payroll since his arrest. Now, he will be getting his pay for actual work. Dennis also stressed that he will not be in an environment that involves contact with children. The EAN wants to make it clear that want to make allegations and charges against Daniel Taylor and his wife Jessica were not related to students within the Elmore County School system, but rather their own biological child, of which they no longer have custody.
For background on the accusations against the Taylors, the following is an article published in the Elmore/Autauga News in January of 2021.
Originally Published in January 2021 – BY SARAH STEPHENS
A husband and wife from Elmore County have been indicted on one count each by an Elmore County Grand Jury for Aggravated Child abuse of their biological child. For years, the friends and coworkers of the family were told the daughter was suffering from cancer and/or terminal diseases. However, authorities say that there is no evidence at this point to show the child ever had cancer or any other disease.
Jessica Taylor, 37, and Daniel Taylor, 38, were indicted Friday, taken into custody Wednesday night, and have since bonded out on those charges. They were booked into the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office. Bond amounts for each were set at $30,000. The couple lives in Millbrook.
The indictment comes from allegations that the couple led people to believe their child had cancer and/or other terminal illnesses. During that time, fundraisers were established for the couple and their child in and around Elmore County.
Daniel Taylor has been put on administrative leave from Coosada Elementary where he was serving as assistant principal. His wife, Jessica, was not currently employed by the Elmore County School system, but at one time was a pre-school teacher with the Child Development Center of Millbrook.
“We believe this abuse occurred over a period of years,” Chief Assistant District Attorney C.J. Robinson told the EAN. “From what we can gather, there are no medical records available that show the child ever had cancer. We are just glad that as of now the child is safe. Our hope is we can prevent this from ever happening again.”
Jessica Taylor is a former teacher at the Child Development Center of Millbrook.
A statement from the Elmore County School System reads:
“The Elmore County Sherriff’s office reported the arrest of a Coosada Elementary School administrator on January 13, 2021. The incident that led to the arrest is unrelated to the school. As of January 14, 2021 the employee was placed on administrative leave. The District is not at liberty to comment further. Thank you.”
Daniel Taylor has not been on the campus of Coosada Elementary School since Jan. 5, and had been working from home.
It is important to note that these charges do not involve other school children in the Elmore County Public School system, and relate only to the couple’s biological child. It is not believed any other children were involved at this time.
Over the past years, many in the Millbrook and Elmore County community donated money to the family, thinking they were helping for medical and other expenses related to the child’s alleged cancer diagnosis.
We were contacted by one of those people, who actually supported the couple throughout those fundraisers, and told us that some teachers had even donated their vacation time so Jessica Taylor could stay home with her “sick” child.
The couple is set to be arraigned on Feb. 2 in an Elmore County Courtroom. We will follow this story and update as possible.
According to Mandy Johnson, an assistant District Attorney for Elmore County, the original investigation began some time back when an area medical professional voiced their concerns to law enforcement authorities concerning the safety and well-being of the child.
The charge of Aggravated Child Abuse is a Felony, and if found guilty they could both face prison time.