Georgia cop who taught ‘sexting’ resigns over explicit texts sent to students: 'Do your friends know you like girls butt?'
CARTERSVILLE, GEORGIA: A school resource officer who taught a "sexting" class sent numerous "unprofessional" and "inappropriate" messages to some of his students, it has been revealed.
Lt. Ryan Prescott, formerly of the Cartersville Police Department, had resigned from the force in March over an impending termination after an administrative investigation had revealed he had sent explicit texts to at least three students.
The investigation reportedly began after Cartersville Police Chief Frank McCann was contacted by Cartersville City Schools Assistant Superintendent Ken Clouse regarding a complaint about Prescott's behavior.
During a subsequent interview with Cartersville Police Deputy Chief Jason DiPrima, who wrote a report on the case, Prescott admitted he was in contact with three Cartersville Middle School students via text messaging.
Prescott, a school resource officer who taught several classes, including 'Sexting and Social Media,' claimed he was unfamiliar with certain platforms like Snapchat and had asked for help. He said one eighth-grade student showed him how to use it and helped him get it on his phone, following which it is believed that he started contacting her, as well as two others, on the app.
In one of the text messages recovered from his phone, he told one of them to not "tell people you are talking to me … rumors will spread" and asked her if she was gay.
"Do all your friends know you like girls [sic] butt?" he ventured in another, before asking her to send him a picture of her girlfriend.
"I honestly think you should be opened [sic] minded," he told her. "I’m not against it but choices in life affect your future … positive or negative."
When questioned about the messages, Prescott claimed that, while it may seem "inappropriate," it was never his intent. He said he wanted to build a "trusting" relationship with her since he had concerns about her being bullied and insisted he was not trying to "groom" her.
But he added that he felt she was "setting him up" because she had deleted comments she had made to him regarding her sexual preferences.
A mother of the victims told DiPrima she was more concerned about the volume of messages Prescott than the content but revealed that "her daughter indicated that the officer had other conversations with other students that were more explicit, such as 'hooking up at school.'"
She also shared that she felt "weird" about one particular message which the officer sent where he told a student, "I’ll give you a finger up, too, butthead."
According to his phone records, on the evening of March 1, he told students he was "drunk texting everyone" and that he was worried they may "save" him saying a "bad word" on social media. "You get a spanking," he told one of them. "I get fired."
In his interview with DiPrima, Prescott insisted he had not been drinking at all that night, and then denied requesting, receiving or sending photographs containing sexual or inappropriate content to or from any CMS students.
Parents were notified of the investigation on March 4, and it was ultimately determined that the school resource officer had violated several CPD standard operating procedures about conduct and social network use.
"The content of these messages was unprofessional and inappropriate to the extent that it reflects negatively on the agency, violates public trust, discredits the agency and causes embarrassment to the agency in the eye of the public we serve, to include the Cartersville Middle School and students he was assigned to protect," the report said.