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Local parents upset after school system fails to notify them of teacher’s child porn arrest

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LEXINGTON, N.C. – Davidson County Schools elementary music teacher Clifton Higgins was arrested Friday and charged with possessing child porn.

But some DCS parents are upset that they had to find out about it through social media, rather than a note or call that day from the school.

"Davidson County Schools have not done their job," parent Katie Smith said. "I don't understand why I wasn't notified."

Smith's son goes to Davis-Townsend Elementary, one of two schools, the other being Tyro Elementary, where Higgins taught.

"My son wasn't in his music class, but Higgins is the one who takes them in school, lets them out of the car,” she said. “My son has had contact with this man, too."

Superintendent Lory Morrow said parents were not informed Friday because the school was informed of the arrest after 6 p.m. A note was instead sent home with students Monday.

Parents said they think DCS should have made it a priority to inform parents, just as they do at odd hours during weather delays or cancellations.

"It's kinda difficult to find out through social media, through friends," said parent Cynthia Bowden.

Two of Bowden's children were taught by Higgins, but she now home schools her three kids.

Some parents also expressed disappointment about the delay in suspending Higgins after the investigation began.

Mocksville police said they began the investigation Feb. 2, and notified the school of it Feb. 7. DCS did not suspend Higgins until Feb. 10.

An incident report shows that Mocksville Police seized items from Higgins' Mocksville home, including a laptop, camera, flash drive and cell phone.

For graphic material found on electronic devices, police charged him with third degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Morrow said the delay in suspension is because, at first, the school system did not have enough evidence.

Morrow said DCS also conducted an independent internal investigation, and found that there is no reason to believe that students were at risk.

Higgins previously worked at Rutherford County Schools from Oct. 1, 2012 to Aug. 15, 2014. He had been with DCS since Aug. 21, 2015.

Higgins is in the Davie County Detention Center under a $300,000 bond. He is still receiving a salary from DCS while on suspension.