WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A Winston-Salem teacher accused of inappropriately touching students says the alleged assaults never happened.
Samuel Erick McClain, an English teacher at Carver High School, was arrested over the weekend and charged with two counts of misdemeanor simple assault. He’s accused of patting two male students on their rear ends several months ago.
However, McClain says the students made the allegations up.
“These students, they run and cry wolf all the time. Teachers did this, teachers did that. When is someone going to stand up for the teachers? I'm the victim. If you ask me, I'm the victim. I'm the one who had my name slandered,” said McClain.
Police say the two students are 10th and 11th graders at Carver High School. McClain says one of the students was in his classroom to look at a test score.
“Once he realized that he passed, I pat him on his shoulder and said congratulations,” said McClain. “The other young man, I have no clue where that other allegation is coming from.”
McClain and his Greensboro attorney, Kevin Dowling, plan to fight the allegations in court, but they worry the damage has already been done.
“He has been branded. To get his reputation back is going to be extremely difficult. Even with an exoneration, he's going to have problems,” said Dowling.
McClain’s court date has been set for June 25.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools sent a statement to FOX8 Monday:
“The district learned of the arrest Sunday afternoon, and Superintendent Beverly Emory has suspended McClain with pay. The district first learned of allegations against McClain in January, and he was suspended with pay on Jan. 17 while the Winston-Salem Police Department investigated. Parents were notified of the investigation at that time.
State law limits school districts from suspending employees with pay for more than 90 days. Mr. McClain returned to the classroom on April 21; at the time, the district did not have evidence to take further action against Mr. McClain. After the arrest, Emory suspended McClain and will consider further action as necessary.
McClain began teaching at Carver and WS/FCS in August 2013. That has been his only employment in the district.”