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from www.charlotteobserver.com – A former Watauga County elementary school teacher has been charged with sexual misconduct with students over a pair of two-year periods, according to the sheriff’s office and the Watauga County Schools.
Amy Tilley Bower, 45, who taught full-time in the Watauga Schools for about 15 years, was charged with two counts of sexual activity with a student and two counts of indecent liberties with a child.
Watauga Schools Superintendent David Fonseca said Bower resigned Aug. 19 as a fifth-grade teacher at Cove Creek Elementary School. That was a day before the school system learned of the investigation into Bower’s activities, Fonseca said.
The sheriff’s office says it was contacted several weeks ago with allegations about Bower and students. The alleged sexual activities took place between 1998 and 2000 and again between 2004 and 2006, according to investigators.
According to the Watauga County Schools, Bower taught at Bethel Elementary School during the time of the first allegations, and then at Mabel Elementary during the second period.
Fonseca said Bower worked with the school system as a substitute teacher during the 1996-97 academic year, then taught full-time at Bethel Elementary until 2002. She worked at Mabel Elementary from 2004 to 2009, then moved to Cove Creek Elementary for the 2010-11 academic year.
“If the allegations are true, the behavior violated the trust of students, the ethics of the teaching profession, our school system polices, and the law,” Fonseca said. “We take such possible misconduct very seriously.”
Fonseca said he understands parents are concerned, but he added that “the charges in this case involve the alleged behavior of one individual. We hope the alleged misconduct of this one individual will not be allowed to tarnish the outstanding work of our personnel in the classroom and throughout our school system.”
Bower is freed under $50,000 bond and has a first court appearance scheduled for Sept. 17.