Local News

Elementary school principal faces child sex offense charge

Posted June 10, 2009

— A Cumberland County elementary school principal faces charges in connection with allegations of inappropriate behavior with a 3-year-old child.

Ronald Thomas Parker, 58, a principal of four years at Eastover-Central Elementary School in Eastover, surrendered to authorities Wednesday afternoon on charges of statutory sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a child.

Principal accused of indecent liberties with 3-year-old Principal accused of indecent liberties with 3-year-old

He was released under a $50,000 unsecured bond and is scheduled to appear before a judge Thursday afternoon.

Cumberland County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said the alleged crimes happened at Parker's home at 1111 Asbury Road in Fayetteville sometime between May 29 and May 31.

Tanna said the child told her mother about the alleged encounter while she was being bathed.
Tanna would not say how Parker knows the child but said the child is not a student and that there have been no allegations involving schoolchildren.

A Cumberland County Schools spokeswoman said Parker, who has worked for the school system for more than six years, was suspended with pay on June 4.

He started as a teacher at Jack Britt High School in December 2002 and later became an assistant principal there. He became principal at Eastover-Central in June 2005.

"From what I understand, he was very well-respected by his friends and by the teachers that worked with him in the school," Tanna said. "The teachers think very highly of him. It's a very sad day for that school."


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  • wattsun Jun 12, 2009

    This guys career is ruined either way .....
    hope the truth comes out

  • segraves Jun 12, 2009

    This is very sad. I have know Mr. Parker for almost 30 years. I pray the truth comes out. The sad thing is if innocent, he has already been found guily by the comments I have read on this site. If guilty, he should face the fullest punishment available under the law. I have 4 children and a 2 year old grandaughter. I am an educator with 30 years of experience. I have seen this type of situation before and the person was guilty, and times the person was innocent. Nothing in his past makes me believe he is guilty. He retired in Alabama, interviewed and was offered a job in North Carolina. He retired in mid-year to accept the job. He chose NC because his wife was from NC and wanted to move back close to her family. This man spent countless hours with all of my children (2 girls and 2 boys). Never did anything like this surface. I pray that this child is not being used as a pawn by an adult. Please give this man and child your prayers. All associated with this tragedy suffers.

  • acskesjws Jun 11, 2009

    Oh, and psychological testing is a good idea IF was designed to catch this kind of thing...which they are not.

  • acskesjws Jun 11, 2009

    First off...we don't know what happened so everyone saying he should automatically go to jail...that's ridiculous.
    Anytime a child reports any kind of incident of this nature, yes I think it should be investigated. But to throw a man under the bus before all the facts have been established, to me seems pre-mature. None of you were there so you can't say that it happened or not. A child that is 3 yrs old can and WILL lie and have very imaginative ideas. They can also be coached by people that are entrusted with their care. So this very well could be fabricated.
    IF this did happen, yes, he should go to jail for a long time. But at the very least, have the dignity to hold your judgement of someone you don't know until all the facts are in place.

  • Nonewsisgoodnews Jun 11, 2009

    Sadly, I'm with miriamcarmichael. I definitely do not know whether he is innocent or guilty, but when certain things come out of a three year olds mouth, you do not have an option to just push ignore. Its just not an option to a good parent, your job is to investigate into your childs lives to make sure they safely grow into independence.

  • eddyhazkell Jun 11, 2009

    Do some of you actually believe that a parent can just make something up and the police will instantly press charges? Why would the prosecution waste its time and money if it didn't have something or someone to go off of rather than one parent?

  • Lab mom Jun 11, 2009

    I recently met with Mr.Parker to get my daughter into this school. I have my doubts about this story. Rumor has it his son and daughter are about to begin a very very messy divorce. Sounds like revenge to me. I just don't believe it myself. Unfortunately, his career is over. So sad for him and his family.

  • mom2threecld Jun 11, 2009

    3 year olds may make things up or even tell a lie, but not about sexual related stuff cause they don't know about it yet....i would hope

  • jlh4jdj Jun 10, 2009

    miriamcarmichae--First, why are you yelling? Second, you can't see how this could be made up. Take your three year old and the next time she says a new word get all excited and make a big fuss about it. What will she do? Say it over and over, of course. All I am saying is that when you base charges like this off the word of a 3 year old you have to be concerned. I would rather they convict him in a court of law before his name is printed.

    eddyhazkell--You have never known a school employee to move during the school year? How many have you known, four? I can think of at least ten off the top of my head. Actually my dad moved into a teaching position part of the way through the school year (one school told him that his position would not be there next year, so he went ahead and moved when the other school had an opening so he would have a job).

  • Meeya2Sweet Jun 10, 2009

    innocent until proven guilty....well that all depends on the person history