MONROE, Ga. — A former Walnut Grove High School teacher and coach is being investigated for alleged sexual conduct with a student.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, and the teacher has resigned.

“The Walton County School District is aware of these allegations and is fully cooperating with authorities in this ongoing investigation,” public information officer Callen Moore said. “Student safety is always our top priority. The district took immediate action and the teacher in question is no longer an employee in the school district.”

Sheriff Joe Chapman said the school district reached out to the Sheriff’s Office to investigate.

“Right now we’ve just had a complaint and we’re looking into it,” sheriff’s Capt. Kirk McLeroy, commander of the Criminal Investigations Division, said. “We have nothing to lock anybody up on, but we’re still investigating it.”

Georgia law prohibits sexual contact by “a person who has supervisory or disciplinary authority over another individual.”

The law carries enhanced penalties for sexual assault against a child younger than 16, but lesser penalties if the child is between 14 and 16 years old and the defendant is 18 or younger or is no more than four years older than the victim.

In this case, McLeroy said, “It’s not necessarily an underage victim. It’s the person-of-authority-type.”

He was not sure Friday how the teacher and student began the alleged relationship.

“We’re looking into that,” he said. “We’re having some hurdles we’re having to jump, so we haven’t really gotten into that, how it all originated.”

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