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ABSS assistant principal arrested for felony sex act with student

An assistant principal at an area middle school has been arrested for allegedly engaging in illicit behavior with a student.

According to the office of Alamance County’s sheriff, James Tyler Kelly was taken into custody at a residence in High Point shortly after the sheriff’s special victims unit launched an inquiry into his alleged misconduct on Monday.

A 39-year-old white male from Graham, Kelly had served as an assistant principal at Southern High School prior to his transfer in June to a comparable position at Southern Middle School.

James Tyler Kelly

According to the sheriff’s office, Kelly’s suspected misconduct didn’t occur on school grounds.

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He currently faces a single felony charge for allegedly engaging in a sex act with a student. According to various social media posts, the student is a high school female.

His bond has been set at $50,000.

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Shortly after the arrest, ABSS put out a statement: “We are deeply troubled by the recent arrest of one of our assistant principals for alleged misconduct with a student. Protecting our students is our top priority. While we must let the legal process unfold, any such allegations represent a profound breach of trust with our ABSS community. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement as this is an ongoing investigation and will take appropriate actions based on the findings of the investigation.”

In addition, during an afternoon work session of the school board, school superintendent Dr. Dain Butler said that Kelly has been suspended without pay and that he will recommend dismissal of his employment with ABSS at the earliest opportunity.

Kelly’s salary as an assistant principal is $78,484.56, according to the school system.

Kelly has been employed with the school system since August 18, 2011 when he started as an exceptional children’s teacher at E.M. Holt Elementary (through June 13, 2012).

He was subsequently an exceptional children’s teacher at the school system’s Ray Street academy from August 20, 2012 through July 5, 2018.  He was also an assistant football coach at Southern Alamance High School from Aguust 19, 2013 through August 17, 2015 and a homebound tutor between April 30, 2015 to June 12, 2015.

He was the lead exceptional children’s teacher at Ray Street Academy from July 5, 2018 through July 30, 2020.

He served as assistant principal at Southern High School from August 1, 2020 through June 14, 2023.

While at Southern, he also served as a Saturday school tutor (April 17, 2021 through May 22, 2021 and November 22, 2021 through February 26, 2022); and as a summer school teacher (July 11, 2022 through July 21, 2022).

He has been an assistant principal at Southern Middle School since June 14, 2023.

The warrant for Kelly’s arrest was issued on Monday, August 7, and served on Kelly at 12:21 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to a copy of the warrant obtained by The Alamance News.

The warrant lists the date of the alleged offense as Friday, August 4.

The narrative on the warrant describes the alleged offense as “[penile] to vaginal sexual intercourse with the student victim,” for whom no age, grade level, or other identifying information is listed.

Though the warrant lists Kelly’s current address as 2715 North Centennial Street in High Point, his previous address was 404 Mallard Creek Drive in Graham, according to other official public records.

Meanwhile, Kelly’s bail (a percentage of the total of $50,000 secured bond) was posted by Jarrett Jordan, a bondsman with Around the Clock Bail Bonds, which is based in Greensboro, court records show.

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