03/04/09 — Southern Wayne High School teacher arrested

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Southern Wayne High School teacher arrested

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on March 4, 2009 1:46 PM

Shannon Grace Herring

A Southern Wayne High School teacher accused of a sex offense turned herself in to the Wayne County Sheriff's Office on Monday.

An investigation was launched into allegations against exceptional children's teacher Shannon Grace Herring, 32, on Nov. 18, when Southern Wayne principal John Boldt filed a police report with the school resource officer, Deputy Russell Rice.

The alleged sexual incident, described only as "sexual activity" by the Sheriff's Office, did not take place on the school campus, Capt. Tom Effler said.

When Rice and Boldt filled out their police incident report, they alleged "improper student teacher contact," as the the crime or incident.

A 17-year-old Mount Olive area student made the accusations.

The police report launched a lengthy investigation, led by Sheriff's Office Detectives Ron Baker and Bob Golimowski.

The investigation continued until Tuesday, when Ms. Herring turned herself in at the Sheriff's Office, authorities said.

"She knew she was under investigation," Effler said. "Detective Baker was able to get up with her, and she agreed to turn herself in."

Detectives would not say what sort of sexual activity they allege Ms. Herring and the 17-year-old student engaged in, only that it is a crime.

"Any time a teacher, or custodian or (any school employee) has sex with any student out there, it's a crime," Effler said.

Detectives said the sexual encounters between Ms. Herring and the 17-year-old student took place twice -- between the dates of Oct. 16 and Nov. 18 -- and that Ms. Herring faces a Class G felony for the two offenses.

The Sheriff's Office also was not willing to disclose where the sexual encounters took place, describing it only as "a place within the county."

The detectives said the length of the investigation was necessary because they felt they needed to interview "quite a few people" in investigating the crime.

"It took a long time, it was a serious charge, they had a lot of people to interview, a lot of things to follow up on in this case," Effler said.