A Newton County School District teacher has been charged with several counts of sexual battery connected to an alleged improper relationship with a high school student.
25-year-old Amanda Goforth, a science teacher at Newton County High School, was suspended. Officials from the Newton County Sheriff's Department say Goforth was arrested and charged with five counts of sexual battery Nov. 23. The allegations involve a 15-year-old female student.
Newton County superintendent, Pat Ross, says it started with one accusation.
"This was Friday, November the 20th, we had the allegation. We interviewed a couple of students and we fairly quickly, that afternoon in fact, handed that investigation that we had over to the sheriff's department," Ross said.
Ross says the school district is taking this issue and others like it very seriously.
"The most important thing, I think to us, is that we look these issues in the eye and deal with them," said Ross. "We take the accusations and we investigate it. And if we need to turn it over to the authorities, then we do that. If it's something that we can handle, then we do that as well."
Ross says Newton County teachers do discuss this type of misconduct during professional development. He says he will continue implementing these discussions.
"We will probably do a more thorough job of that in the future. But we try to be proactive about that in the beginning," Ross said. "But it's a problem that just happens when you deal with people every day. It's unfortunate and it's sad and it's very difficult to deal with."
Goforth has been released from jail on $100,000 bond.
Newscenter 11 was unable to get a photo of Goforth. The sheriff's department said it has a problem with its camera equipment and did not have a photo available.