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Freedom Christian Academy co-founder will not return after legal troubles

Posted November 17, 2015

Joan Ellen Dayton

— The Freedom Christian Academy Board announced Tuesday that they voted not to retain Joan Dayton as Head of School during a meeting on Nov. 10.

Dayton, co-founder of the Fayetteville private school, had been serving a voluntary leave of absence since the end of May. In September, a Superior Court judge restricted her involvement with the school until August of 2016.

Dayton turned herself in on felony charges of violating the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act. Authorities said she failed to report, aided and abetted, Paul Conner, a registered sex offender who worked at the school.

Under state law, a convicted sex offender cannot live within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school or child care center or “work at any place where a minor is present and the person’s responsibilities or activities would include instruction, supervision or care of a minor or minors.”

In her court appearance in Cumberland County Superior Court, Dayton accepted a plea deal agreement of 11 months of probation, 50 hours community service to be performed within 180 days and payment of court costs. She was also restricted from being on school property during the probation.

“We wish Mrs. Dayton and her family the best,” said School Board Chairman Charlie Bedsole. “We believe that she was instrumental in creating a strong foundation for our school and we seek to continue to honor what she helped start.”

Natalie Munoz will serve as the interim Head of School for the remainder of the school year.

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  • Mike Hill Nov 18, 2015
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    Let me get this straight, she is being persecuted by fellow Christians, because she let a guy do cabinetry work at the school on weekends when no one else is there. Stay Classy, Freedom!