Local News

Ex-teacher charged with having sex with student

Posted July 16, 2008 10:48 a.m. EDT
Updated July 17, 2008 7:49 a.m. EDT

— A former Hobbton Middle School teacher is charged with having a sexual relationship with one of her former students, authorities said.

Jeannie Michelle Hodges, 39, of 12237 Dunn Road in Autryville, was charged Tuesday with statutory rape, sexual offense with a student and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She was held in the Sampson County Detention Center under a $50,000 bond.

The Sampson County Sheriff's Office received a tip last month that a teacher had had an affair with a 15-year-old boy while working at Hobbton Middle in Newton Grove. Investigators determined the relationship started toward the end of the school year and that the boy had spent several nights at the teacher's house over a two-month period.

Hodges left her teaching job before the end of the school year, authorities said.

"Parents and other teachers cannot help but (be) feeling betrayed by Ms. Hodges' actions," Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said in a statement. "I hope this isolated incident doesn't undermine the public's confidence in the efforts of the other teachers and educators, who work hard to ensure our children receive a safe and sound education."

Thornton told WRAL that the teacher didn't try to hide the affair.

"She didn't deny it and was pretty frank about it having occurred," he said, adding that investigators don't believe any other students were involved.

The Sampson County Schools issued a statement that said Hodges had a good record as an eighth-grade language arts teacher at Hobbton Middle for the past three years.

"Sampson County Schools is aware of the charges brought against Ms. Hodges," the statement said. "It saddens us to learn of such charges. Sampson County Schools holds its teachers to high moral and ethical standards."

Thornton said the charges affect the credibility of all local teachers.

"To be quite honest with you, this teacher let her co-workers down to be involved in something like this. It's not a true indicator of all other teachers that we have in our school system," he said.