Emily Durden: Teacher, 19, held for sending sent explicit photos to 13-yr-old male students
Durden, who worked as a substitute teacher at Crest Middle School, was released a day after her arrest after posting $50,000 secure bond
SHELBY, NORTH CAROLINA: A substitute teacher at a North Carolina middle school has been arrested for allegedly sending sexually explicit photos and videos to her male students, who are aged 13 and 14. Emily Durden, 19, from Shelby, has been arrested and booked into the Cleveland County jail on two counts each of indecent liberties with a student and second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and three counts of display of material harmful to a minor.
Durden worked as a substitute teacher at Crest Middle School. She was released the day after her arrest after posting $50,000 secure bond. She is now required to stay away from the school and not make any contact with the victims. The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office said that the investigation into Durden was launched just a few hours before she was arrested. A school resource officer at Crest Middle School got a call from a parent who complained that Durden may have sent their son explicit videos and images. Durden later admitted to the crime while being interviewed by sheriff's detectives.
Durden was hired as a part-time substitute teacher on November 8. She had been part of the school for just four days before she began sending inappropriate videos and photos to minors. Officials told WSOC-TV that the teacher sent X-rated materials to her students through her phone. One of the students eventually informed his parents about the images, who then immediately contacted the school resource officer.
A former substitute teacher at Crest Middle School is accused of sending explicit video and messages to students. Investigators say the 19 yo teacher reportedly admitted to the crimes during her 9 days on the job, even telling a 13 yo to meet her after class for sexual activity. pic.twitter.com/RKQDPrp157— Ken (@kenlemonWSOC9) November 22, 2021
The investigation found that at least one other student received such content from the teacher. Officials have not yet ruled out the possibility that there could be more victims. Cleveland County resident Preston Messick told WBTV he attended Crest Middle School and Crest High School, and that he recognized Durden. “It’s really crazy to hear something like that, especially since I was coming out of elementary school,” said Messick. “Parents out there shouldn’t have to worry about their kids getting sent explicit pictures from a teacher to other students.”
Assistant Deputy Chief Durwin Briscoe of the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office said that in his 29 years in the agency, Durden is the youngest person in education he has charged in a crime like this. “When it was brought to my attention, I questioned it, but I think this a result of our school system, not just our school system, but any employers having to find individuals that are willing to work. That’s part of the reason of her age and working in the school system and being so young,” said Briscoe. Briscoe is now urging parents to pay attention to their kids and check who they are interacting with on smartphones and on social media. “Parents should always know what their kids are into, be always looking into their social media accounts, looking for individuals that they may be in contact with,” said Briscoe.