WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Prince William County police have arrested a Woodbridge teacher accused of having inappropriate contact with two 15-year-old male students.
Authorities say the teacher is now in jail without bond and on unpaid leave from from his middle school.
Police say 32-year-old Shannon Arnold Patterson turned himself in to authorities on Monday after police issued warrants with various charges against him. They say Patterson inappropriately touched a boy between November 2008 and last month. They also say the Language Arts teacher sent inappropriate text messages to another student during that time.
Police say the inappropriate contact did not occur at Beville Middle School, where the two boys are students.
“The students need to feel safe when they’re in school,” said Officer Erika Hernandez of the Prince William County Police Department.
Stanley Mahdi has a son who went to Beville last year and has another son going into the seventh grade. He says he’s deeply troubled by the allegations.
“It makes me mad because I see it on TV all the time. You read about it in the papers,” he said. “It’s just one of those issues that enrages me. I don’t like it [be]cause I feel if you have those sort of feelings you need to go somewhere and get help.”
Meanwhile, Patterson’s father tells ABC 7 News his son has been wrongfully accused and that the damaging allegations against his son are simply not true. He described his son as a well-respected teacher and mentor of eight years who has never been in trouble before.