Dale County Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sexual Contact With Students

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The Dale County middle school teacher pleaded guilty Tuesday, confessing that he had sexual contact with one of his students. As a result he's headed to jail and will never be allowed to teach again.

Twenty-eight-year-old instructor Jeffery Dawkins will never teach again and will now be known as a registered sex offender after pleading guilty to having sexual contact with a female student.

Dawkins taught seventh grade math at South Dale Middle School in Pinkard, Alabama.

School officials hired Dawkins on an ABC certificate, which allows a person to teach for three years while working toward getting their teacher's license.

Investigators say Dawkins wrote explicit letters to the student and made direct sexual contact with her, which led to his arrest.

“Their main purpose was to make sure that he didn't do this to somebody else, that he had to register and he couldn't teach anymore. That's what we held firm to and that's what happened today," said District Attorney Kirke Adams.

He was arrested in the fall of 2005 for sexual assault second degree after being hired only a few months back.

School leaders say Dawkins was hired right out of college, came highly recommended and was from the area. They say this was something they never expected.

Dale County School Superintendent Phillip Parker said, "We will not tolerate it by any of our employees. I'm ashamed that we even hired someone that would think about doing something like that."

“You would like to think your children are safe at certain places, church and schools. But predators lie there, too. It just all goes back to talking to your children every day to find out what's going on in their life, and to try to protect them at all times," said Adams

Before the hire in 2005, school officials say they ran a background check on Dawkins, in which he had no prior record.

Officials say Dawkins will spend a year in jail, which is the maximum punishment.