Teacher charged with arson in connection with fire at Graham High School arrested


Michael Shannon

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GRAHAM, N.C. -- Police have arrested a 28-year-old teacher in connection with a fire at Graham High School last Wednesday.

On Monday, Michael Patrick Shannon, 28, of 3551 Forestdale Drive, Burlington, was charged in connection with a fire that broke out in the auditorium/theater area at Graham High School on Feb. 19.

Shannon was arrested in Mecklenburg County at 7:35 p.m. by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Burlington Times-News.

He was released Tuesday morning on a bond of $25,000.

Shannon was employed with the Alamance-Burlington School System at the time of the incident. He is listed on the school system's website as the Theatre Arts Instructor at Graham High School.

g2Shannon is charged with one felony count of burning a school and one felony count of common law obstruction of justice.

The fire broke out at Graham High School shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday. Alamance County Fire Marshall David Leonard said the fire was contained to the auditorium.

Captain McGilvray with the Graham Police Department said they will not release a motive at this time, but he did say an "accelerant" was used in the fire.

"We appreciate the prompt response and thorough review of the circumstances at Graham High over the last week by our local fire and law enforcement departments, as well as the assistance provided by the Alamance County Fire Marshal’s office and the SBI," a representative with Alamance-Burlington Schools said in a statement. "While their work continues, our district focus will remain centered on supporting our Graham High community, students and staff members."

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