Former Teacher Center of Investigation - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Paragould, AR -- Brandi Hodges Reports

Former Teacher Center of Investigation

PARAGOULD, AR -- A former Brookland School teacher is under investigation by the Arkansas State Police.  The state Criminal Investigation Division told K8 News Thursday morning that they are in the preliminary stages of an investigation about the teacher who was also a church youth minister.

James Short has lived in the community for almost 30 years teaching at Brookland High School and serving as a youth minister at 7th and Mueller Church of Christ in Paragould.

That church said it was contacted last week by a man living in Alabama who claimed to have been sexually abused thirty years ago by Short.  Church minister Mark Farrar said church leaders then met with Short.  They've now released a statement to K8 news.  It said, "Short has resigned and asked for prayers of the congregation."

It goes on to say, "...the church then filed a report with the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline."  The church said it is pursuing all the appropriate measures for making sure the children are safe.

One thing they are doing is offering counseling for any church member who needs it and making flyers with the child abuse hotline available.

After this resignation, Short also resigned his position as a drama teacher at Brookland School.  In his resignation letter to the school, Short said, "very serious personal problems" led to his resignation as a teacher at Brookland School.

Short's resignation letter was given to us by the Superintendent of the district:

To Whom it may concern:

Due to unforeseen circumstances and very serious personal problems, I regretfully offer my resignation as a teacher as a teacher at Brookland School immediately.

Thank you for allowing me to be employed in your system for the past 27 years.  It has been a pleasure working at Brookland.

The 7th and Mueller Church of Christ statement is as follows:

Friday, September 20, a member of the 7th and Mueller Church of Christ staff resigned and asked for prayers of the congregation.  A report has been filed with the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline.  There is an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Arkansas State Police.  We are pursuing all the appropriate measures for making sure the children are safe.  Our congregation is continually prayerful for everyone involved.

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