APEX, N.C. (WNCN) – Apex police are conducting an investigation into accusations of misconduct by a teacher at Apex Friendship Middle School.
On Wednesday evening, the school’s principal sent a letter to parents telling them Mr. Howard, a PE teacher, was suspended “while the school system reviews concerns brought to our attention.”
Principal Shejuanna Rodgers said Howard was suspended with pay on March 5, pending an internal investigation.
Apex police said investigators are looking into the possibility of more than one potential victim. They’re also working to build a timeline of when the alleged misconduct occurred. A spokesperson also said one of the family members of a student potentially involved is associated with an employee of the Apex Police Department.
One parent and student, who asked not to be identified, told CBS 17 they weren’t surprised by Howard’s suspension, adding the student had complained about the teacher’s behavior in the past.
Other parents CBS 17 spoke with questioned why it took a week for the school system to tell them a teacher was suspended.
“My initial reaction is disappointment. I feel that the school should be open and honest especially when it comes to the safety or potential safety of the kids,” said JP Sherman,
Sherman’s four children do not currently go to Apex Friendship Middle School, but attend other WCPSS schools. He said open communication extends to his children as well, encouraging them to speak up if they see or experience something that makes them uncomfortable.
“Talk to us, talk to your administrators, talk to somebody,” he said.
Apex police are working with the Wake County Public School System in the investigation.
The school sent out the following letter to parents on Wednesday:
Apex Friendship Middle Parents,
This is Principal Shejuanna Rodgers.
Open communication is an important part of building a strong partnership with parents. For this reason, I want to provide you with some information about the matter that is affecting our school.
On March 5th, Mr. Howard, a Physical Education teacher, was suspended with pay while the school system reviews concerns brought to our attention.
Privacy laws prevent me from providing much information about the situation, but I can share with you that the teacher has been suspended pending the completion of our own internal investigation.
I hope you can appreciate that personnel matters are sensitive, and by law I am very limited in what I can discuss publicly. Please be assured that the district takes any complaints against personnel seriously and is committed to fair and thorough investigations and resolutions of such matters.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the school office at 919-694-8960.
Thank you for your continued support of our school.
No further information was made available.