Local News

Ex-Charter School Teacher Faces Sex, Alcohol Charges Involving Student

Posted October 26, 2006

— A former Durham teacher made his first appearance in court Thursday on charges that he took indecent liberties with a minor.

Grant Frederick Rockett, 48, had been released on a $20,000 secured bond Wednesday after being charged with taking indecent liberties with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Rockett was a second-grade teacher at Central Park School for Children, a year-round charter school located on Foster Street in Durham, for the past four years. He was fired from his job at the outset of the criminal investigation.

Both alleged incidents involved a 9-year-old former student. According to warrants, Rockett provided the youth with alcohol last March and inappropriately touched the student over the summer.

According to the school, the alleged incidents happened off-campus.

"Members of the Central Park School for Children community are in shock and saddened to learn about the criminal charges filed against one of its employees," school officials said in a written statement.

Parent Paul Ensslin, who has two children enrolled at Central Park School, said he had been impressed with Rockett until now. Neither of Ensslin's children had Rockett as a teacher.

"This is unacceptable behavior, and as a parent, what kind of teacher he is doesn't matter," Ensslin said.

Rockett is the third Durham teacher arrested on sex-related charges with students since 2002. Both of the others were sentenced to probation.


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