Walker County teacher under investigation was previously accused of sexual misconduct

FLINTSTONE, Georgia(WDEF) – News 12 has uncovered new information about a Walker County school teacher who is currently under both state and federal investigation.

Chattanooga Valley Elementary kindergarten teacher, Mark McCormack has been under investigation since Tuesday morning when state and federal law enforcement officers arrived at his home with search warrants. Neighbors told News 12, they saw officers removing computer equipment from the house.

On Thursday, News 12 spoke to a parent who claims back in 2010 filed a complaint against McCormack after learning about an alleged encounter between McCormack and her daughter. Her daughter was McCormack’s student.

To protect the identity of the former student, News 12 has elected not to identify the mom.

She said it was on the very last day in school back in 2010 when McCormack asked students in the class if they wanted to play a game on his laptop computer to come up to his desk.

“My daughter came up and she was playing the game. as she played the game, she said Mr. McCormack took his cell phone by her knew then took a picture. She said she saw the flash and everything. She said he then pulled the phone back up then went back down between knees and took another picture. She said she saw the flash on the phone,” the mother said.

The mom told News 12 she was shocked when her daughter came home and told her what happened in class.

“We both came back up to the school that same day and we reported the incident to the principal. and the assistant principal. They came and took his cell phone. I’m really shocked because they didn’t find anything then. Here it is six years later down the road this comes up again. Something has to be done about this. This is just ridiculous,” she said.

The mom told News 12 she was upset that school leaders didn’t do more back then to further investigate the the allegations.

“If they had, other children might not have been effected by this,” she stated.

According to the mom, a year and a half ago she received a phone call from a Walker County detective.

“He was wondering if I could come and speak with him about an issue at the school involving the same teacher I complained about. He was asking me if I was aware of this other issue with this teacher; an issue that was sexual in nature. I though maybe they’ll get him this time.”

News 12 submitted an open records request to Walker County authorities and it came back 21-pages long.

According to the records, back in January of 2015, McCormack had been under investigation for child molestation. according to the report, McCormack allegedly had placed his hands down a young girls pants and touched her. The report went on to say that after he was done touching her, he would gave the girl candy for being good in class. As part of that investigation, an interview was conducted at the Children’s Advocacy Center.

The child in the 2015 case told investigators that McCormack touched her chest and vaginal area. She also told investigators the incident happened inside McCormack’s classroom.

News 12 found the 2010 report in which McCormack was accused of taking picture up a female students skirt. In that case, McCormack was under investigation for sexual exploitation of a minor. The narrative in that report was identical   to what was stated by the mom who spoke to News 12.

The 2010 and 2015 investigation was dropped due to lack of evidence.

Chattanooga Valley Elementary school leaders are refusing to talk to News 12 about the McCormack or the allegations.

The Walker County School superintendent’s office is also refusing to comment.

School leaders have also denied request by News 12 to answer questions about why parents were never notified about the investigation. McCormack is not allowed to teach his class while he is under investigation. School leaders learned about the investigation Tuesday morning when authorities came to McCormack’s house.

“They should have notified us. They call us if there’s a tornado coming through. They call us if there’s a bomb threat, but they can’t call us if a teacher is under investigation by Homeland Security,” the mom said.

“Given these days and times, you want your kid to be as well protected as possible. You should alarm the parents of something like that if it pertains to their kids or around their kids; whether it be hearsay or whatever, they should know. They should not have to find out off the internet or something like that. It just looks better for the school and better for everybody if everybody is in the know,” said Troy Copeland whom News 12 spoke to on Wednesday.

On social media, several parents have discussed their frustration toward the school district handling of the situation. Several parents stated online that they should have been notified via email or phone call that a teacher was under investigation.

Categories: Crime, Local News

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