The Ayden Police Department continues to investigate an accusation against a local teacher who has been suspended with pay.
Officials say JROTC teacher Joseph Mitchell, who is in his mid-40s, was suspended with pay this week at Ayden Grifton High School, and an investigation is underway.
The Pitt County School Information Officer told WITN the prinicpal of Ayden-Grifton High School got a call from someone on Tuesday which lead to the investigation and the suspension.
WITN learned about the story Wednesday night. We called the Ayden Police Department. They said they had not heard about the case. We determined that was because school officials only turned the case over to the police department Thursday morning. Mitchell was suspended Tuesday.
"When an allegation is made, " said Heather Mayo, Pitt County School Information Officer, "we have to do some fact finding if you will. Gather the information so that if it does rise to that level, we have information to turn over to law enforcement which we have done in this situation."
The Ayden Police Department told WITN Thursday they are in the process of interviewing witnesses and that they are still in the preliminary stages of their investigation.
One parent we spoke to Thursday say people shouldn't rush to judgment but is saddened by the news a teacher is under investigation.
Joseph Mitchell is a JROTC instructor at Ayden-Grifton high school.
Pitt County school information officer Heather Mayo tells WITN that the school received information that led to an investigation.
It is WITN's policy not to report specific allegations until we have confirmed with law enforcement arrests are pending or charges pressed unless there are extenuating circumstances. One of those circumstances would include a potential threat to the public that officials were not reporting. In this case, the investigation and suspension were reported, and the individual under investigation removed from the school. We will keep you updated on that investigation.