RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- Hundreds of people packed the Randolph County School Board meeting Monday in support of a former teacher and coach accused of sexual battery of student last month.
Students held signs and wore T-shirts with the words “Free Elliott” written across them.
“We’re in support of Mr. Elliott,” said Luke Johnson, a student at Southwestern Randolph High School. “That’s why I wear this shirt proudly because I am standing up for what I truly believe.”
Jarret Elliott, a former teacher and coach at Southwestern Randolph High School was charged with sexual battery of a student in April.
Many who spoke during the meeting’s public comments portion fiercely claimed Elliott’s innocence.
“He has a right to be innocent until proven guilty,” said one parent.
Elliott resigned on April 26.
He turned himself in to authorities on April 27 and posted a $5,000 bond the same day.
The former teacher sat quietly during the meeting while his attorney asked school board members to rescind his resignation.
“He wants to be in the classroom with all of these kids and they want him back there,” attorney Jonathan Megerian said. “I would ask you all to do whatever you can in your power to restore him to his position pending the resolution of this case.”
According to the search warrant from the Randolph County Courthouse, the alleged incident took place on April 24 on school property.
The warrant reports, “There is probable cause to believe that on or about the date of offense shown and in the county named above the defendant named above unlawfully and willfully did for the purpose of sexual arousal engage in sexual contact, by grabbing the buttocks of student juvenile victim.”
Neither Elliott nor his attorney made any comments after leaving the meeting.
The former teacher and coach is expected to return to court in June.