Following growing rumors on social media, police in Daphne have confirmed an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse made against a teacher at Daphne Elementary School by a student’s parent.
According to a news release, police are in the process of investigating a claim reported by a “concerned parent” said to involve a juvenile victim and an adult at the school.
“We are not releasing any information at this time due to the facts of the case and the juvenile status involved,” Capt. Judson Beedy wrote. “There has not been an arrest made in this case. Information will be released in this case when and if possible.”
It’s currently unclear when the investigation began, but the first reports of a possible incident began circulating earlier this month after a parent from Daphne Elementary addressed the Baldwin County Board of Education at its regularly scheduled meeting.
Among other questions, she asked the board if it was true that a school employee had been “suspended with pay for inappropriate behavior.”
While the law limits what members of the board can publicly discuss pertaining to employees and students, Superintendent Eddie Tyler did say he and the members of the board were aware of the situation.
“A lot of things dealing with personnel, because of privacy laws regardless of the individual, can’t be discussed, but I do want you to know that I’m aware, and we’ll take the appropriate measures to do the things we need to do to keep the children safe,” he said. “We’ve already done some of that.”
Lagniappe reached out to Baldwin County Schools Communications Director Terry Wilhite about what, if any, personnel action has been taken with regard to the investigation Daphne police confirmed Tuesday. The school system has yet to provide any comment on the matter.
After this story was originally published, Tyler released a written statement identifying the employee as Daphne Elementary P.E. teacher William Davis, who he has recommended the board terminate.
“As your Superintendent, please know that I take any concerns related to the safety and welfare of our students very seriously and will continue to take appropriate action when necessary to protect our students,” Tyler wrote. “[William Davis] was placed on paid administrative leave on October 20th, and he was notified of my recommendation to terminate him on November 9.”
Tyler said the board would consider his recommendation at an upcoming board meeting, which could be as early as Jan. 9. He said “certain due process rights” afforded to employees limited his ability to speak further.
However, there have been reports that Davis’ termination was supposed to be considered at the Dec. 5 meeting where the allegations against him were first addressed publicly by the parent mentioned above.
Lagniappe has been unable to confirm that or ascertain why Tyler’s recommendation to terminate Davis’ employment from early November was considered sooner.
So far, very few details have been released and no charges have been filed against anyone as a result of the investigation. Beedy asked anyone with information regarding alleged abuse or criminal activity to contact the Daphne Police Department at 251-621-9100.
Updated at 11 a.m., Dec. 20, to include a statement from Baldwin County Schools Superintendent Eddie Tyler.