Vina community gathers to discuss recent teacher arrests - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Vina community gathers to discuss recent teacher arrests

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Monday's town-hall meeting was set to discuss recent teacher arrests for sex with students and how to prevent it from happening again. Monday's town-hall meeting was set to discuss recent teacher arrests for sex with students and how to prevent it from happening again.
Tibbs confessed to investigators about an improper relationship with a 17-year-old. Tibbs confessed to investigators about an improper relationship with a 17-year-old.
Keeton was arrested within a week on charges of an improper relationship with another 17-year-old. Keeton was arrested within a week on charges of an improper relationship with another 17-year-old.
VINA, AL (WAFF) -

Vina High School leaders held a meeting Monday evening to discuss two recent teacher arrests.

Franklin County deputies arrested Sonny Tibbs and Brian Keeton within a week of each other. Both men are accused of having sexual relationships with students.

The town-hall style meeting attracted an audience of over 100 who heard from speakers including the Franklin County Sheriff and District Attorney Joey Rushing.

They gave few details about the cases, but said they will take priority, despite delays in the court system.

Organizers said they want to be as transparent as possible when discussing the recent arrests, but the main objective of the meeting is to prevent future incidents and relationships between teachers and students.

Rushing answered questions from frustrated parents who said continuing to pay the two teachers is wrong, especially after one admitted to an inappropriate relationship with a student.

The Vina principal squashed rumors of a third teacher under investigation. The meeting concluded with a psychologist at the podium, discussing warning signs parents can look for and other ways to prevent this type of behavior.

Parents said they are thankful for the information and know Vina will bounce back.

One man, a parent of two, said he doesn't like the reputation the school has taken on, but believes the city and the people will make it right.

"I do think it reflects the city in a bad way, but the thing about the people of Vina – we are strong and we bind together and stay close to fight things through," said Michael Moommaw.

The DA also spoke about what being convicted of a crime like this can mean for the rest of a person's life, such as registering as a sex offender, and the emotional damage caused to the students involved.

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