Rome High teacher jailed for alleged sexual relations with student

A Rome High School teacher was booked Friday into the Floyd County Jail on charges that he had sexual contact with a 16-year-old male student at the school.

Maj. Elaine Snow, with the Rome Police Department, said James Rodney Lee, 27, is accused of having sexual contact with the student at the school on March 20.

Charges against Lee include aggravated sodomy, cruelty to children, sexual assault against a person in custody, and sexual battery.

Rome City Schools Superintendent Gayland Cooper said Lee would not be allowed on school premises, pending the results of the investigation into the charges. He remained in jail late Friday without bond.

“I want to assure parents and the community that we will take the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of all our students,” said Cooper. “That is our No. 1 responsibility.”

The incident was re­ported to the school resource officer and to the Department of Family and Children Services, Snow said.

Cooper said Lee is a math teacher at the school.

“Myself and the principal (Tygar Evans) will be telling him not report to school on Monday,” Cooper said.

Evans said he could not comment on a personnel issue or an ongoing investigation, but said “I do wish to assure everyone relative to Rome High School that my top priority as principal is the safety and security of our students.”

Cooper said school officials learned of the alleged incident after the student in question reported it to a counselor on March 20, who then informed the administration.

According to Cooper, DFCS and local law enforcement were investigating the issue this week, which was spring break for the school system.

Lee is the third area school official accused of having sexual contact with students this school year.

Two Model High coaches who were fired last fall after both were arrested on sexual assault charges were indicted by a Floyd County grand jury earlier this month.

According to the indictment for Matthew Douglas Blanton: Blanton made sexual contact with a student enrolled at Model High School between Oct. 1, 2008, and Nov. 17, 2008.

According to the indictment for Daniel Lowell Brown: While an employee at the school, Brown engaged in sexual intercourse with a Model High student between Aug. 1, 2008, and Nov. 17, 2008.

Rome News Tribune