Montgomery County, NC-- News 2 looks into the five separate instances regarding inappropriate employee-student relationships in Montgomery County Schools in the past 13 months.
Montgomery County has just two high schools and one learning academy. In the past 13 months alone, there have been five instances of inappropriate relationships between a staff member and student.
WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford talked to the sheriff's office, district attorney's office, and school district. They all agree, this track record is disturbing.
In January of 2012, Shawn Day, a former guidance counselor at West Montgomery High School was arrested. He pleaded guilty to allegations that he used cell phone text messages to entice a minor student to engage in sexual activity. He was convicted and is currently in prison.
Eight months later, deputies arrested the former volleyball coach at East Montgomery High School. The sheriff's office charged Julius Ryan with indecent liberties with a child after allegations of him kissing a volleyball player when she walked by his classroom surfaced.
Investigators said video footage showed consistent with that encounter.
Julius Ryan still works for Montgomery County Schools in the bus garage.
One month ago, John Ward confessed to having a relationship with a student when he was principal of Montgomery Learning Academy. The student gave birth to a child and now the sheriff's office is waiting on a paternity test to see if Ward is the father.
Last week, the wrestling coach and football coach at West Montgomery High School were charged a day apart with indecent liberties with the same minor. Zachary Carr is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student in a school closet. Knight is charged with having several off-campus encounters with the same student.
As a result of all this, the district has new guidelines regarding coaches effective immediately. Now, coaches of opposite sex teams must always have an assistant coach of the same sex as the team present at all times. Also, all required paperwork must be completed before the person starts coaching. No one should be allowed to interact with students until they have been cleared and approved.
WFMY News 2 is still asking why the former volleyball coach, Julius Ryan is still employed by the district after the accusation he kissed a student.
The district sent us this statement:
This is an ongoing personnel situation; we have conducted our own investigation and we are waiting for the outcome of the court case. We are working closely with the Sheriff's Office, and, as always, any inappropriate behavior will be handled according to board policy and applicable laws.
WFMY News 2, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Montgomery County Schools