Student's father: Ex-Durham teacher a 'practiced predator'
Posted May 6, 2016
Durham, N.C. — A former Durham high school teacher could face more charges involving an inappropriate relationship with a student, a prosecutor said Friday.
Michelle Smith White, 39, of Penrith Drive in Durham, was charged in 2014 with taking indecent liberties with a student and engaging in a sex offense with a student.
Authorities said White formed a friendship with the female student in 2012, when the girl was 15, and it later evolved into a sexual relationship. White was the dance teacher at Jordan High School at the time.
Durham County Assistant District Attorney Cindy Baddour-Kenney said during a court hearing that investigators are still examining White's cellphones and computers and that some of the evidence they found showing White and the student "in intimate relationships" could result in new charges.
The student's family moved her out of Durham following the incident so she could get psychiatric treatment, her father told Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, but she will be returning for the summer, and he wanted "a demarcation" to ensure that the girl or the family wouldn't run into White.
"It’s been a long and difficult journey," the father said, recounting how the family, school officials and police repeatedly warned White to stay away from the girl.
Yet, he said, White continued to text the girl and even got a tattoo with the girl's name in it.
"Frankly, I have concerns for any young persons this person may encounter. She is a practiced predator," the father said.
White's bond already prohibits her from contacting the girl, but Hudson also ordered her to stay out of downtown Durham and south Durham, where the girl works and lives. He agreed with the defense, however, that an electronic monitoring bracelet would go too far, as White has been out on bond for more than a year and has abided by the restrictions.
White worked at Jordan High from March 1997 until she resigned in April 2014 amid a school district investigation into her relationship with the student.