BATESVILLE, MS (abc24.com) - A Mid-South teacher is off the job and behind bars, accused of texting a teen asking for sexy cell phone pictures.
24-year-old Marion Strickland was fired from South Panola High School. Investigators are analyzing cell records and computers, checking to see if there might be more victims.
"This was his first year with us and through the hiring process we did a background check. Everything was clear," says Superintendent Keith Shaffer.
Strickland taught English. He's charged with enticing a juvenile to text inappropriate photos.
It's not against school policy for a teacher to have a student's cell phone number. It is against policy to communicate with each other the way cops say Strickland did.
"It's very much like child porn. It's taken very seriously," says District Attorney John Champion.
Accusations surfaced this week. The district fired the teacher Friday.
Investigators won't say if those involved were Strickland's students or if they're male or female.
"At this moment we've only got one," Champion says. "The investigation is continuing. It's possible there could be some more. We're just not real sure at this point."
The school district says Strickland violated the state code of ethics between a teacher and a student. While it's unusual for teachers and students to share cell numbers, it's not forbidden.
"There are certain cases where it may make sense," Shaffer says. "If you have coach and he has all of the team's numbers and may want to send out an announcement about practice. But it's not a good idea, so we discourage it. But it's not against our policy."
"As long as it's done right, I think a student should be able to communicate with their teacher," Champion says. "In the world we live, though, you in never know what may happen."
Strickland is being held on a $500,000 bond.
Prosecutors say this investigation could take time. They have to go through cell phone records and computer downloads. Strickland's sentence will depend on what they find.