FIRST ON WITN: JROTC Instructor Suspended

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.

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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.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by UPDATE Location: Aug 2010 on Aug 26, 2010 at 03:04 PM
    He was found not guily today. How will he ever get back the lost time, reputation, or his job?
  • by Mark Location: Grifton on Apr 21, 2009 at 05:43 AM
    What did he get convicted of?
  • by jessica mckay on Mar 13, 2009 at 01:58 PM
    SFC is a great man and a lot of people at school is outraged at this... we kknow he a great person and would never do this...SFC Mitchell if you are reading this we are praying for you and hope to see you back at school----from a lot of people at AGHS
  • by AL Location: GREENE CO on Mar 13, 2009 at 01:05 PM
    It seems that accusations are enough to convict a man or woman of anything! But the Media should have gotten all the facts. Has the man even been charged with a crime?? He needs to be before the media starts its stuff. If it were someone with money or a big time politician it would not come out till it was in the courts. I fault the Pitt co Schools too! They should have kept the statement like this NO COMMENT! Then There would be NO STORY ! Too BAD!! I say give the man a chance to prove him self . The law say's innocent till prove guilty!!! So lets go with what the books say! Oh that is right political correctness!
  • by Happens TOO much! Location: Greenville, NC on Mar 13, 2009 at 09:38 AM
    This happens too often. An acusation is made and it hits the fan (media) before the truth comes out. This man is already seen by many as guilty just because their is an investigation. I don't know anything about this man or school but we teachers here definately need a union because their are too many accusations that are not true but still put blemishes on records. I do realize that things do happen but we need better ways of researching these facts and teachers (in come cases) need more protection and backing!!!!
  • by Blake S. Location: Greenville on Mar 13, 2009 at 08:16 AM
    Weel said GoPirates!
  • by GoPirates Location: GVegas on Mar 13, 2009 at 07:06 AM
    To all the people slamming WITN or saying they should sue the media outlets for posting false again, WITN ONLY posted facts and did not slam this man!! They said he is under investigation and gave a FACT stated by Heather Mayo just how they handle these types of situations. If you dont like the way WITN reports, then simply go to another site!!
  • by Me Location: Here on Mar 13, 2009 at 05:45 AM
    To ANGRY PARENT: That's absolutely crazy. The race has NOTHING to do with it. Why would that have even been a consideration?! The media gets what is reported to them.
  • by Jessica McKay Location: aghs on Mar 12, 2009 at 05:42 PM
    He would never do this...i hav been with him all year and i know he didnt do it
  • by AL Location: GREENE CO on Mar 12, 2009 at 04:15 PM
    Kinda seems familiar ?? you remember last weeks and the week before when the Trooper got fired?? We never heard why they fired him . Just that he was fired. I think a lot of times it is selection of facts and selection of stories that cause panic and stir of emotions that need not to be stirred. I think the one who releases should be held libel for damages done to the innocent. If it were me I would sue the crap out of the media for that. NOW Witn needs more subtle approach to releasing story not all the facts no story! NO story till all the facts are in. Ill bet like the other post I did last night This one tooo will not post. Selective truth and lies by the moderator! All I have said is opinions and facts I have read.I feel liberals like WITN should find a better group of reporters and moderators!
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