EDISON, GA (WALB) - Former Pataula Charter Academy teacher Clayton Downing has lost his job, and is out of jail on bond, after he was arrested Tuesday.
Downing, 30, is charged one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes, and two counts of obscene telephone contact. Downing isn't cooperating with authorities after he was arrested for inappropriately texting students at Pataula Charter Academy, where he worked.
"I made a phone call to him and he refused to talk," said Police Chief Walt Ingram. "They were of an inappropriate and lewd nature, some of them may have been sexual."
Downing was in his third year at the school and taught 9th and 10th social studies. "Some of them were his students and some of them were not, they were just students at the school," said the chief.
Chief Walt Ingram says his department learned of the messages at the end of last month. Downing was arrested Tuesday and is charged with one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes and two counts of obscene telephone contact.
"It's bad enough that these text messages have already gotten to the students, but he hasn't had his hands on them so that's the good thing so far."
Superintendent Kylie Holley says the board sent out this letter to parents last week after firing Downing May 2nd. "The board of directors did conclude that Mr. Downing's actions demonstrated a clear violation of our standards and expectations that PCA holds for its teachers, therefore he was terminated immediately."
A termination that has shocked both the school and the community. Authorities are still investigating and say more victims could be out there.
"If there are any students or parents that know of anything, we'd love for them to give us a call," said the chief.
Pataula Charter Academy brought this matter to the Edison Police Department, which brought in the GBI.
Downing was fired by the school on May second.
The school sent this letter to parents-
Dear Parents and Students,
Last week, allegations were brought to our attention that a PCA teacher, Mr. Downing, had sent inappropriate electronic communications to students. The information we were given has been turned over to the proper authorities for further investigation. We cannot discuss the specifics of the allegations since they are part of an ongoing investigation.
Based on information available to the school, PCA's Board of Directors concluded that Mr. Downing's actions demonstrated a clear violation of the standards and expectations PCA holds for its teachers. Accordingly, after holding a called Board meeting on Saturday to discuss the matter, the Board voted to terminate Mr. Downing's employment at PCA effective immediately.
We want to assure you that our students' well-being is always our top priority. This is a difficult time for the whole PCA family, but we will do our best to ensure that our students get through it with as little interruption to normal activities as possible.
Kylie Holley, Superintendent