BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A Piedmont Triad assistant principal has been arrested for sex with a student.

The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office says that on Monday they began investigating allegations that a school administrator had been involved in “misconduct” with a student. After gathering evidence, deputies arrested and charged James Tyler Kelly with one count of felony sex act with a student.


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He was taken into custody at a home in High Point with assistance from the High Point Police Department.

Investigators say the alleged misconduct did not happen on school property.

According to the school district, Kelly had been employed with them since 2011. He started as an exceptional children’s teacher at Edwin M Holt Elementary, and then Ray Street Academy. He also worked as an assistant football coach at Southern Alamance High School, and was the lead exceptional children’s teacher at Ray Street Academy, before getting the assistant principal job at Southern Alamance High School in 2020. He also worked as a tutor during various parts of his tenure. In June 2023, he was made assistant principal of Southern Alamance Middle School as part of a reshuffling of administrators within the school district.

The Alamance Burlington School System released the following statement about Kelly’s arrest:

We are deeply troubled by the recent arrest of one of our Assistant Principals for alleged misconduct with a student. Protecting our students is our top priority. While we must let the legal process unfold, any such allegations represent a profound breach of trust with our ABSS community. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement as this is an ongoing investigation and will take appropriate actions based on the findings of the investigation. 

James Tyler Kelly was part of the Superintendent’s administrative reassignment plan in June and was moved to Southern Middle. Prior to that, he served as AP at Southern High School. 

According to investigators the alleged incident did NOT occur on school property.  

However, we want to make it clear that any victim of misconduct will be treated with compassion and concern. 

Additionally, we understand this may generate concern among our school community. However, we remain fully committed to student safety, transparency and maintaining a caring, supportive learning environment for all.

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Alamance Burlington School System

As of Tuesday, the school district says he was suspended without pay.

In April, a teacher at Southern Alamance Middle School was arrested and charged with multiple counts of indecent liberties with students at the school and was served additional warrants in May.

Kelly was given a $50,000 secured bond.