Sullivan County Director of Schools David Cox said the system suspended Griffin without pay before the indictments.
“The safety and well-being of our students is our priority, and any allegations of this nature are taken seriously,” Cox said.
One charge is a felony, the other a misdemeanor. Griffin was indicted by a Sullivan County grand jury after a presentation by Cpl. Martin Taylor and arrested Feb. 25. He subsequently posted a $5,500 bond and was released, according to police.
“On Jan. 8, 2020, an incident was reported to law enforcement regarding a teacher at Sullivan North High School,” KPD Public Information Officer Tom Patton said. “The complainant alleged that the teacher was observed to have been engaged in a sexually explicit action in a classroom in view of teenage juvenile students. This incident was thoroughly investigated by detectives with the KPD Criminal Investigations Division.”
Sullivan County Schools suspended Griffin without pay “pending the completion of law enforcement and judicial processes,” Cox said Thursday.
“In early January, a female student reported the observation of alleged inappropriate behaviors by a male teacher to school administrative staff,” Cox said in a statement. “Law enforcement was contacted to conduct an investigation. Also at that time, the teacher was suspended without pay pending the completion of the investigative and judicial processes. School and district administrative staff continue to fully cooperate with law enforcement throughout this process.”
The facts of the case, Patton said, were later presented to a Sullivan County grand jury on Feb. 19.The grand jury returned an indictment charging the Griffin with two things:
— One was a count of public indecency, a Class B misdemeanor for sexual actions in a public place.
— The other was a count of public indecency on school property in a sexual action where the defendant knew or reasonably should have known children were likely to be present at the time, a Class E felony.
Patton said Griffin was taken into custody Feb. 25 at the Kingsport Justice Center and booked into the Kingsport City Jail. “He was later transferred to the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville but has since been released after posting a $5,500 bond,” Patton said.