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Substitute teacher started sending explicit images, videos to middle school students 4 days into the job

19-year-old Emily Durden.

Simone Jasper

The Charlotte Observer

A former substitute teacher is accused of sending explicit photos and videos to children in North Carolina, officials said.

Now, deputies are asking parents to report if their kids may have been targeted by 19-year-old Emily Durden.

Durden started working as a substitute for Cleveland County Schools on Nov. 8 and first shared inappropriate messages with students four days into the job, investigators told WSOC.

By Nov. 18, a parent told a school resource officer at Crest Middle School in Shelby that the substitute may have sent “inappropriate images and videos” to a child, the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies in a news release didn’t list an attorney for Durden.

During an investigation, the sheriff’s office said it discovered Durden had “initiated conversations and shared sexually explicit materials with several 13 and 14-year-old children.”

“Ms. Durden was interviewed and admitted to sending the sexually explicit videos and pictures” to the teens, Cleveland County deputies said in their Nov. 22 news release.

Cleveland County Schools said Durden was eligible to be in a substitute teaching role because she finished high school and was older than 18, according to WBTV, The Charlotte Observer’s media partner.

In response to a request for comment about Durden, the school district in an email to McClatchy News said she worked in a non-full time capacity until Nov. 17.

Durden, a Shelby resident, was arrested Nov. 18 and charged with second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, indecent liberties with a student and display material harmful to a minor, officials said. She has since been released on bond from the Cleveland County jail, roughly 45 miles west of Charlotte.

The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately respond to McClatchy News’ requests for additional information on Nov. 23.

©2021 The Charlotte Observer. Visit charlotteobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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