School Sex Scandal

  N.C. Department of Justice: Investigation into NHCS’ handling of sex abuse allegations is ongoing

The N.C. Department of Justice says it is “working towards a resolution” in its investigation into New Hanover County Schools’ handling of sex abuse allegations.

  Part Three: Cover-Up Culture? WECT Investigates claims of retaliation in the face of abuse reports at NHCS

  Part Two: Cover-Up Culture? - WECT Investigates administrators’ response to sexual abuse at New Hanover County Schools

  Change of venue requested in Peter Frank case

  Sheriff’s office ordered to hand over investigative files in New Hanover County teacher sex scandal

  Part One: Cover-Up Culture? - WECT Investigates decades of sexual abuse at New Hanover County Schools

  Additional victims added in Mike Kelly lawsuit

Continued Coverage

  Search warrants detail alleged sex act by former band teacher with NHC middle schooler

Ex-Roland Grise band teacher indicted on 17 sex crime charges

  A look at the $132K contract for New Hanover County Schools’ new interim superintendent

  New Hanover County Schools names interim superintendent

  NHCS responds to request to remove Holliday’s name from Laney stadium

Williston Middle School teacher under investigation following criminal allegation

  Tip line dedicated to ex-band director sex abuse case still open

Since the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office launched a tip line dedicated to investigating former Roland Grise band teacher Peter Frank, just twelve calls have been made.

  'It is a blank check for the school system to make sure our children are safe’: New Hanover County commissioners approve $358,420 request from school board

The Board of Education is asking New Hanover County commissioners for $358,420 as it looks to move past the Peter Frank sex scandal and resignation of Dr. Tim Markley.

  Middle school band teacher charged with sex crimes fired by New Hanover County Schools

Peter Frank's employment has been terminated by the board of education.

  State board ‘closely monitoring’ situation in New Hanover schools

In a brief impromptu discussion at the end of the State Board of Education’s (SBOE) special meeting Friday morning, Board Chair Eric Davis addressed the “situation” in New Hanover County Schools (NHCS), saying the board is offering its support.

  New Hanover County Schools still without an interim superintendent

  ‘We hope to earn back their trust very quickly’: NHCS using new system to streamline complaints

  Thousands sign petition to remove Holliday’s name from Laney Stadium

Second Roland Grise staff member suspended on allegation of inappropriate behavior toward students

  NHCS board accepts Superintendent Tim Markley’s resignation

  In fallout of New Hanover schools sex scandal, many feel superintendent should be held accountable

  Parents leave Roland Grise support meeting with mixed emotions

After a week of turmoil within the New Hanover County School district following the arrest of band instructor Peter Frank, the district hosted a support night for parents of Roland Grise Middle and Hoggard High schools.

  'How will it be different?’ Former educator writes to NHCS leaders after latest arrest in school sex scandal

The mother of a student allegedly assaulted by former Laney High band director Richard Priode is imploring school district officials to act after another band teacher was charged for assaulting his students.

  'I don’t understand how you can be a pedophile and keep your job’: 12-year old asks NHC School Board

Parents packed the New Hanover County School Board meeting Tuesday, demanding for superintendent Tim Markley to be removed. Many of those parents and even a 12-year-old girl spoke out about the school sex scandal.

  Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at New Hanover County Schools resigns

New Hanover County Schools confirms the assistant superintendent of human resources, Dr. John Welmers, has resigned.

  WECT Investigates: County preparing for potential claim in death of inmate Nicholas Oates

The family of Nicholas Oates has filed a claim against New Hanover County, apparently stemming from Oates death late last year while in the custody of the New Hanover County Jail.

  Mother of student victimized by former teacher of the year speaks at community meeting

The New Hanover County Schools United for Students group hosted a support meeting for parents and students of the New Hanover County School district Monday.

  ‘We don’t feel like they are safe:’ Commissioners offer support teams, mental health counselors to New Hanover Co. schools

New Hanover County commissioners voted Monday on a motion to extend their support and the help of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office to the school board.

  Lawmaker discusses new sex crimes law as New Hanover County investigates third employee charged

As the investigation continues into Peter Frank, the Roland Grise Middle School teacher charged with 12 counts of indecent liberties with a child or student, a new state law aimed at reducing sexual abuse of children comes into sharp focus for one of the legislators behind it.

Attorneys representing New Hanover Co sex abuse victims begin investigation into Peter Frank

The law firm handling an independent civil investigation into the Michael Kelly sex abuse case has announced an investigation into allegations of sex crimes by Roland Grise Middle School band teacher Peter Frank.

  Teacher charged with sex crimes had history of inappropriate relationships with students, warrants say

Search warrants from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office reveal Roland Grise band teacher Peter Frank was counseled by district officials for having “inappropriate relationships” with students during his tenure at the middle school.

  Roland Grise band teacher suspended without pay after charges for child sex crimes

Peter Frank, a band teacher at Roland Grise Middle School, has been suspended without pay from his role with New Hanover County Schools, after being charged with a dozen felony sex crimes.

  ’If you’re not being heard keep on talking’: NHC commissioner speaks out about school district culture

Elected leaders are acknowledging a problem with the culture within the New Hanover County School District.

Middle school band teacher committed sex crimes with 12-year-old student this school year, warrants say

According to warrants, Frank’s alleged victims were between the ages of 12 and 14 when they were reportedly abused.

  New Hanover County band teacher charged with 12 felony sex crimes

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a middle school band teacher was charged with 12 felony sex crimes.

  New Hanover County Schools launches online reporting system

On Monday, New Hanover County Schools will launch a new system that will allow parents, students, employees, and community members to report a complaint or concern anonymously.

  Ex-school employee accused of molesting student dies while awaiting trial

A former special education assistant indicted last year on charges that he sexually assaulted one of his students has died while awaiting trial.

Former NHCS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Holliday files response to civil suit over Michael Kelly assaults

Dr. James Rickie Holliday, the former deputy superintendent of New Hanover County Schools, filed his response to a civil suit against him, the current administration, and the board of education.

  Still no law requiring fingerprint background checks for teachers in N.C. public schools

Despite public outcry, state lawmakers have failed again and again to pass legislation requiring fingerprint-level background checks for all job candidates applying to work in public schools.

Dr. LaChawn Smith, new Deputy Superintendent of New Hanover County Schools, says focus is the future

Dr. LaChawn Smith was named the new Deputy Superintendent of New Hanover County Schools. She replaces Dr. Rick Holliday whose retirement came on the heels of a lawsuit over the district's handling of a former teacher accused of sex crimes.

  New Hanover County Schools responds to latest Michael Kelly lawsuit

The school system has released a statement two days after attorneys announced they were pursuing a class action lawsuit against New Hanover County Schools for the victims of Michael Kelly.

  Deep dive: New Hanover schools face a class-action lawsuit, what does that mean?

Two Wilmington-based law firms announced Tuesday they will represent multiple victims of sexual abuse in a civil suit, alleging that negligence on the part of the school board and administration makes them liable for damages.

  Attorneys file suit against NHCS in teacher sex crime scandal, seek class action

A judge will ultimately decide if this can proceed as a class action, but there is commonality in the claims. Former teacher Michael Kelly is the perpetrator against all of the victims the attorneys represent, Kelly engaged in sexual activity with the victims, and all were boys under age 18.

  New Hanover Board of Education flipped its stance on independent investigation. How did we get here?

The New Hanover County Board of Education has reversed its decision not to conduct any internal/independent investigations to look into allegations the school district knew about suspected sex crimes against students.

  Attorneys exploring evidence for civil suit following teacher sex crime scandal

Two Wilmington law firms have announced they are investigating evidence for a possible civil lawsuit against New Hanover County Schools, after a recent scandal involving students being abused by their teacher.

  District Attorney, NHC Sheriff’s Office request SBI review of school administration’s handling of Kelly case

District Attorney Ben David said prosecutors in his office and New Hanover County sheriff's deputies may be interviewed about the underlying sexual assault case, which would create a conflict of interest as both continue to handle current allegations.

  New Hanover County Schools administrator accused in mishandling of allegations of wrongdoings announces retirement

New Hanover County Schools Deputy Superintendent Dr. Rick Holliday on Monday announced his retirement after 37 years with the district.

  Criminal investigation underway into Kelly’s claim schools knew about suspected sex crimes against students

Law enforcement has been investigating claims raised by a former teacher now convicted of sex crimes against students that New Hanover County school administrators knew about claims he’d been sexually inappropriate with his students, and failed to report the allegations.

  Former teacher of the year pleads guilty to sex crime charges

Mike Earl Kelly was facing 59 charges, including sexual exploitation of minor and indecent liberties.

  NHCS board declines citizen request for investigation

The New Hanover County School Board has declined a request for an independent investigation into its handling of serious issues, including concerns their inaction helped sexual predators prey on students.

  Former high school teacher facing new charges for sex crimes

A former New Hanover County high school science teacher is facing new charges in an ongoing criminal investigation into inappropriate relationships he had with his students and other minors. Mike Kelly was recently charged for sex crimes that happened a decade ago against a newly discovered victim.

  Report alleges school administrators used ‘intimidation’ to cover up ‘unethical’ behavior

Silence, intimidation and conspiracies covered up unethical, and possibly illegal, behavior, according to a new report slamming how the school system in New Hanover County handled alleged cases of sexual misconduct and racial discrimination.

  Reverend requests independent investigation into how NHC school system handled sexual misconduct allegations

Reverend Dante Murphy of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice said “in the midst of trying to do good ... the administration failed students."

Ex-school employee indicted on 22 new charges in student rape case

Ex-New Hanover County Schools employee Nicholas Oates was recently indicted on several charges involving inappropriate relations with a minor.

Investigators seize personnel file in former school employee’s child rape case

A newly unsealed court document confirms that a relationship between Nicholas Oates and a child involved in a 2016 investigation continued into this summer, ultimately leading to criminal charges being filed.

  Protected by law: Did school system’s inaction open door to teen’s rape?

Sending sexually suggestive texts to a student was not enough to get Nicholas Oates fired from New Hanover County Schools. The former middle school special education assistant at Myrtle Grove Middle School was reinstated from an unpaid suspension in 2016 when sheriff's officials determined the texts about the size of his anatomy to a child did not break the law.

  NHC school board hopefuls weigh in on sexual misconduct incident

A former New Hanover County School Board member called out current leaders on Facebook, saying if they had handled a case of sexual misconduct differently, a 14-year-old girl may not have been raped.

Former NHCS employee arrested, charged with rape of child under 15

A former New Hanover County Schools Special Education Assistant is in jail under a $1 million bond after being charged with indecent liberties with a child and statutory rape of a child under the age of 15.

  Complaint filed years ago against teacher just arrested on sex crimes

New Hanover County Schools officials were alerted to the potential for inappropriate behavior in a classroom by science teacher Mike Kelly nearly 15 years ago, according to a document provided to WECT News recently. The parent filed a formal complaint with NHCS, and tells us she alerted school officials that Kelly was showing pornography to students in the classroom.

  Former Isaac Bear teacher facing charges for alleged incidents dating back to 2003

A former Issac Bear Early College teacher accused of sexually inappropriate behavior with students now is facing more than 50 charges, according to online records.

  Teacher fired amid investigation into alleged sex crimes

The New Hanover County Board of Education voted Tuesday night to fire Isaac Bear Early College teacher Michael Kelly, who has been accused of numerous sex crimes against students.

  10 additional victims, 28 new charges in case of teacher’s alleged sex crimes

A Wilmington high school teacher accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with students is facing 28 additional charges, according to a New Hanover County law enforcement official.

  GRAPHIC DETAILS: Search warrant describes teacher’s alleged sex crimes

A search warrant obtained by WECT reveals a parent reviewing messages on their child's phone is what ultimately uncovered a high school teacher's alleged sexually inappropriate behavior with his students.

  Former teacher of the year charged with indecent liberties with student

A teacher at Isaac Bear Early College High School is in jail under a $1 million bond after he was arrested for sex crimes against at least five students.