Local News

Teacher Sex Case Prompts Calls For Change At Charter School

Posted October 27, 2006

— Parents called for changes at a Durham charter school Friday, saying school leaders aren't doing enough to keep students safe.

Grant Frederick Rockett, 48, a former second-grade teacher at Central Park School for Children, a year-round charter school on Foster Street in Durham, was charged Wednesday with taking indecent liberties with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Rockett, who worked at the school for four years, 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.

"My youngest daughter cries just about every night," parent Tami Carter said. "She is worried that her new teacher might touch her private parts."

Carter, who spent more than a decade as a social worker investigating child sexual abuse cases in North Carolina and Indiana, said all students at Central Park School have been harmed by the incident. She wants the school to adopt policies to protect students, such as prohibiting teachers from kissing students, being alone with them or giving them gifts.

"Even though my children were not direct victims of sexual abuse, they have been traumatized by what has happened," she said.

School officials haven't yet responded to Carter's request, but they have e-mailed parents about resources they can use to talk with their children about what happened and make them again feel safe about going to school.

Rockett, who worked at Wake County Schools from 1992 to 2003, has been released on a $20,000 secured bond. He couldn't be reached for comment Thursday or Friday, but his attorney denied the allegations.


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