Hamilton County elementary teacher arrested for sexually abusing students


Sanders is now booked at the Hamilton County Jail on a $1.3 million bond.

All information related to Sanders on Wallace A. Smith Elementary School’s website has been scrubbed.

OOLTEWAH, Tenn. (WDEF) — Police have arrested a teacher at Wallace A. Smith Elementary School for sexually abusing students.

Duane Sanders was a first-grade teacher at the Hamilton County school, located on Hunter Road in Ooltewah, Tennessee.

District Attorney General Coty Wamp revealed there was probable cause to believe that Sanders had sexually abused first grade students at the school.

Investigators determined that several children were potential victims.

A Hamilton County Grand Jury indicted Duane Sanders, and officers have taken him into custody. He is awaiting booking into the Hamilton County Jail and Detention Center.

Hamilton County Schools suspended Sanders without pay after hearing of the investigation two weeks ago.

The sheriff’s office says they are still investigating the situation. They added that there could be more child victims that have not been discovered yet.

HCSO asks anyone with information regarding the investigation, including knowing any child who could have been a victim, to contact their office at 423-622-0022.

“The HCSO takes all allegations of criminal activity seriously, especially when it pertains to our community’s children. In matters involving children and suspected child sexual abuse, we will thoroughly and meticulously investigate every allegation and lead to ensure our community’s youth are protected and those who harm them are held accountable,” stated Sheriff Austin Garrett.


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