State Board of Education: Shelby County Schools violated law in teacher rape case

WATCH: State Board of Education: Shelby County Schools violated law in teacher rape case

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools may have broken state law following the arrest of one of its teachers.

Marvin Straughter, 53, was charged with aggravated statutory rape after allegedly engaging in a disturbing sexual relationship with a 14 year-old boy, documents said.

Original Story: Shelby County teacher accused of raping 14-year-old boy, placed on leave by district, officials say

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Court documents said that relationship lasted from July 2018 to August 2019. A complaint was filed with police December 6.

According to Shelby County Schools, Straughter was placed on paid administrative leave December 10.

He was charged December 18.

Marvin Straughter
Marvin Straughter (Fox13Memphis.com)

According to the State Board of Education, it was never made aware of the allegations of sexual misconduct.

Per Tennessee Educator Licensure rules, if alleged misconduct has occurred, districts have 30 days to report that information to the State Board of Education.

FOX13 spoke to the SBE Tuesday morning and the office had no records regarding this incident involving Marvin Straughter.

This means SCS did not report Straughter’s arrest to the State Board of Education within the 30 day window required by law.

FOX13 emailed Shelby County Schools for a response Tuesday around 12:45 p.m.

An hour and fifteen minutes later, we got an email from the SBE that said Straughter was reported to their agency at 2 p.m., four days after the deadline required by law.

According to state records in the TNCompass database, Marvin Straughter was not staffed in a public school during the 2019-20 school year.

However, SCS previously told FOX13 Straughter was a teacher at Oakhaven Elementary School during the time of the alleged crime.

When it comes to next steps, according to the SBE, once a teacher has been reported, their license comes under review.

As they are being investigated, though, there's nothing in Tennessee law that prohibits teachers from working in schools.

Once the investigation is complete, the SBE Review Committee will determine whether or not the teacher's license should be pulled.

No action is taken unless the action has been voted on by the Board or ordered by an administrative law judge.

Since Straughter was just reported by SCS Tuesday afternoon, the review process has not started yet.

SCS released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

Marvin Straughter’s file was submitted to the State today. There was a District-wide holiday break with administrative offices closed December 24-January 1. Additional context: State law does not specify 30 calendar days or business days for reporting. We are looking into the information you received from the state.
SCS Media Relations

Marvin Straughter is out on $25,000 bond. His next appearance is Jan. 21.