SHELBY COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A band director at Oak Mountain Middle School was arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse.
Jeffrey Scott Atkins, 38, was placed on unpaid administrative leave by the Shelby County School District as authorities conduct a full investigation.
"Investigators determined that communication between the teacher and the student using phone texts and social media outlets was sexual in nature," the sheriff's press release says.
"The charges against Mr. Atkins are allegations at this point. However, the allegations are of the utmost gravity in that they implicate unprofessional conduct by a teacher towards a student," said Superintendent Randy Fuller.
School officials found out about the allegations on Wednesday and acted immediately. The Department of Human Resources was contacted as well as the Sheriff's Office.
Atkins has been employed with the Shelby County School district since 1999, serving his entire tenure at Oak Mountain Middle School. District officials said he passed a criminal background check in October 1999 and has had no prior incidents of misconduct.
Atkins was charged with electronic solicitation of a child, three counts of fondling a child, enticing a child and having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19. His bond was set at $555,000.