MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former Shelby County Schools teacher is accused of showing students pictures of herself in a bikini, smoking in marijuana in class and having sex with a student.
Mary Eddington, once a special education teacher at Cordova High School, has been indicted for sexual battery and statutory rape by an authority figure. Her attorney says she’s not guilty.
The 47-year-old Eddington is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student and groping another. She was officially terminated by Shelby County Schools in May after a months-long investigation.
Records show it seems to have started after a conversation between a student and the school’s assistant principal in December.
In an email to other district leaders, the assistant principal said the student came voluntarily to talk about rumors of his involvement with Ms. Eddington. The student admitted his relationship with Eddington, saying that it’s every boy’s dream, and he didn’t admit it in the past because he didn’t want to get in trouble.
That same day, Eddington was placed on paid leave and told she was not allowed on school property. Throughout the investigation students and other teachers were questioned.
Several of the statements talk about Eddington openly talking about marijuana and smoking. One statement said, “Ms. Eddington is making sexual comments. She showed a student a picture of her getting high and said maybe we can go do something like that someday.”
Another said, “Ms. E, well, she knows students bring weed to class, myself included and she doesn’t say anything.” The same student went on to say, “She’s a cougar, flirts with younger guys.”
Another student wrote that Eddington lets students smoke in class and that a student having a relationship with her showed off texts and pictures from their conversation. At least two statements said the former teacher also showed off pictures of herself in a bathing suit.
Eddington was also questioned about the various accusations. She said during the times in question she was teaching a learning lab, that she has not smoked or vaped in the classroom and does not smoke marijuana.
She did admit to having conversations about weed legalization and that some laws were “racist.” She acknowledged students should’ve been focusing on their other work.
As far as the 17-year-old student she’s accused of having sex with, Eddington admitted he had her phone number and would come to her class. He was not a special education student.
Eddington said he wanted to have a physical relationship with her, saying, “He asked if we could do it before graduation. and no one would know. I said you are 17 and I am not a pedophile.”
She said the student brought her a gift. She did not report the conversation saying she didn’t think people would believe her and would think things were the other way around.
Monday, Eddington’s attorney, William Massey, said, “she is absolutely not guilty.”
According to Eddington’s file, she took a polygraph test In December where she denied having sexual contact or sex with a student. The test found she was truthful in her answers.
William Massey, Eddington’s attorney, sent WREG the following statement about the charges.
“I am surprised at the nature of the charges in the indictment and Mary will certainly plead Not Guilty to them. That plea will not change. We look forward to our day in court with a jury to assess the charges.”
Eddington is currently out on bond and will see a judge next month.
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