Weather Related Closings

High school teacher arrested for ‘inappropriate text messages’ sent to student

PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. — A North Panola High School teacher is off the job after school officials say he sent inappropriate text messages to an underage student.

Gregory Kennedy, 35, is charged with enticing a child for concealment.

“It’s still in the early stages. He has been charged. Of course, you’re innocent until proven guilty," said Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby.

Although innocent still in the law’s eyes, the North Panola County School District fired Kennedy after he was arrested on Thursday.

School officials say he'd been there for about a year working as a history teacher, weightlifting coach and assistant football coach.

“I feel like if they get caught doing that stuff they need to be punished,” said parent Robert Spain.

It’s not yet clear the content of the text messages or how long it had been going on for.

Officials said one of the victim’s friends saw the messages and told her mom about them. That mom then reported it to authorities.

“So many people that are violated are afraid, they’re intimidated, are embarrassed and ashamed. You know, you can keep that confidential with us,” said Sheriff Darby.

He said he has special detectives who work on these kind of cases and hopes it encourages others to speak up as well.

The Mississippi Department of Education and DHS are also looking into the case

Kennedy is out of custody on a $1,500 bail.

The sheriff says this is a good reminder to speak to your kids about what’s going on in their lives.