Substitute Teacher, 19, Arrested for Sending N.C. Middle School Students Sexually Explicit Material

Emily Durden worked at Crest Middle School in Shelby from Nov. 8 to the 17th and, according to police officers, sent inappropriate messages to several students

Emily Jean Durden
Emily Durden. Photo: Cleveland County Sheriff

A North Carolina substitute teacher was arrested Nov. 18 for allegedly sending inappropriate photos and videos to middle school students.

Emily Durden, 19, was charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a student, three counts of displaying material harmful to a minor and two counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, according to the Cleveland County Sheriff's department.

Durden was reportedly paid $80 per day to work as a substitute teacher from Nov. 8 to Nov. 17 at Crest Middle School in Shelby, N.C.

The parent of a student at the school reportedly told a school resources officer that Durden may have sent inappropriate text and video messages to a child.

A sheriff's office investigation followed the alert and found that Durden had allegedly initiated conversations and shared the material with several 13- and 14-year-old students, the Shelby Star reports.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

In an interview with investigators, Durden admitted to sending sexually explicit messages to students, according to WBTV.

Durden was booked at a Cleveland County jail, held overnight under a $50,000 bond and released the following day. As part of her bond, Durden has promised not to go near a school and cannot have any contact with the victims, WSOC Channel 9 reports.

A Cleveland County Schools spokesperson told WBTV that Durden met the requirements to be a substitute teacher in the district because she is over 18 years old and graduated high school.

A substitute teacher policy shows that preference is given to teachers that are licensed but that the "school system will employ substitute teachers as deemed appropriate by the administration and in accordance with State Board policies."

Related Articles