A couple of cases involving sex charges and incidents involving guns have kept Baldwin County Board of Education officials busy since school resumed after the holidays.
At the forefront is the case of Baldwin Central Middle School history teacher and bus driver John Daniel Hamilton (pictured above), who faces multiple charges involving sexual contact with a student. The second involved a Daphne Elementary School physical education teacher and coach, William Davis, who was suspected of inappropriate contact with female students. He was placed on administrative leave in October; Superintendent Eddie Tyler recommended termination in November and Davis officially resigned his position on Feb. 22.
Charges against Hamilton include two counts of second-degree sodomy, two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, two counts of a school employee engaging in a sex act with a student under 19 and two counts of a school employee having sexual contact with a student under 19.
“The Robertsdale Police Department was notified of a situation and some allegations of an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and student at Central Baldwin Middle School,” Lt. Rex Bishop said during a news conference Feb. 20. “We began our investigation, which is still ongoing, and that investigation did turn up and develop into probable cause for an arrest.”
District Attorney Bob Wilters said there may be other victims and asked for anyone with more information to contact Robertsdale police.
Police were first made aware of Hamilton when a student went to a teacher at the school and expressed concerns about his actions. The teacher then contacted county officials, who brought in police investigators.
“We have zero tolerance for anyone who preys on children — an individual found guilty of such a heinous crime should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Superintendent Eddie Tyler said. Tyler also praised the work of the Robertsdale police and Wilters’ office.
In the Davis case, no formal charges were filed against him but he chose to retire and surrender his teaching certificate. He has not been on campus since being placed on leave in October.
“In accordance with the requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education, when an employee surrenders his or her certificate, the employee is no longer eligible to teach or hold any position in any Alabama public school, nor is the employee eligible to receive, renew or reinstate the certification,” the county said in a release to media.
On Feb. 15 a Fairhope Middle School student was arrested with a gun on campus. The .380 caliber pistol was unloaded and the student had no ammunition with him. The gun had been stolen from an unlocked car on Mobile Street in Fairhope on Feb. 10, police said.
On Feb. 16 a Baldwin County school bus was surrounded by police when a student on board called 911 after overhearing another student talking about bringing a gun to school. Tyler said the event was overblown and that students and parents should be careful when repeating rumors and hearsay.
“A student made flippant comments on a Daphne bus about bringing guns to school,” Tyler said. “There was needless panic and chaos.”