Accused teacher speaks to WREG as state investigates allegations at school

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Department of Children's Services said Friday their special investigations unit is looking into allegations against a teacher at a South Memphis elementary school.

Friday, that teacher told his side of the story to WREG.

"It's one of those things, people get mad at you and they start rumors," said the teacher, who we are not identifying because he hasn't been charged with a crime.

"I love my students. They know that, and they know what's true and what's not true."

WREG first broke the news that a teacher at Cummings School was on leave after a sexual allegation after receiving a tip that the teacher has been molesting children at school and at home.

The school district called the allegations very serious and the teacher is on leave pending the investigation.

But calls and emails to school board members were ignored Friday.

As students hurried into school, a tough topic weighed on some parent’s minds.

 “I don’t know what to say, I don’t even want to take my little girl to school today," one mother said after hearing a teacher is on administrative leave pending a potentially criminal investigation.

Another parent said she heard about another inappropriate sexual incident involving another teacher earlier in the school year, back in the fall.

As for this case, this mom, who didn’t feel comfortable being identified said, "They should have called, a note in the children’s backpacks, You know my daughter gets a folder every day so something should’ve been said.”

Turns out, it appears not much is publicly being said.

WREG reached out to Shelby County School board members, elected officials.

Board Member Chris Caldwell said he was in an appointment and didn’t know when he would get out.

Emails to every other board member were virtually unanswered, except board member Stephanie Love who said, “let me get some information," and Shante Avant, who at 1:17 p.m. said she would call in the next 30 minutes, but did not.

We called the district office as well. Phone numbers for board members listed all go to the same desk.

Emails sent to the Shelby County Schools Office and the Memphis Police Department asking about when this investigation started, when the police were alerted and potentially how many students could be affected have also not been returned.

The statement we received after 4 o’clock Thursday from the district is the only formal statement we’ve received, telling us the allegations were immediately reported to police and the teacher is on administrative leave.

We’ve reached out to the school district and MPD about the other incident. They acknowledged our request but so far we have not heard back.

Later in the evening after WREG's story board member Kevin Woods responded via email to our request for comment.

"Thanks for your email inquiry. As your story indicated this is an active investigation therefore it would not be prudent to make a additional comments without having more details."

Love also responded via text stating, "The only information I have is what you already have."

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