Wilson, N.C. — A former Fike High School physical education teacher and wrestling coach faces a felony charge of sexual offense and a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the Wilson County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.
David Brandon Earp, 33, of Sims, was charged Friday, authorities said. He resigned from the Wilson County Schools on Saturday, the school system said.
The system had hired Earp in August, according to Robert Kendall, the system's public relations director.
The case began after a parent told Fike Principal Steve Ellis of a text message found on a student's cell phone that suggested inappropriate behavior, officials said. Ellis contacted schools Superintendent Larry E. Price.
Price contacted the sheriff's office, but deputies reported Jan. 14 that they had not found any illegal activity, officials said. The same day, however, school officials suspended Earp after conducting a personnel investigation and finding incidents of unprofessional behavior, Kendall said.
Earp was reinstated Jan. 23 after a meeting with administrators, who established directives for his continued employment, Kendall said.
Deputies then arrested Earp, however, and he resigned. The sheriff's office would not discuss what changed its initial findings and led to Earp's arrest. Court records indicated the sexual offense charge involved a female.
Kendall said the schools are recommending the state revoke Earp's teaching license.
Earp has been head wrestling coach. He worked on the football staff at Chowan University for two years before coming to Fike, Kendall said.
He posted a $5,000 bond and was released after his arrest.