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Former Drew Charter tech specialist accused of ‘inappropriate relationship’ with student

Crime and public safety Kirkwood and East Lake Metro ATL Trending

Former Drew Charter tech specialist accused of ‘inappropriate relationship’ with student

Drew Charter School. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Atlanta, GA — Drew Charter School on Thursday, Nov. 16, announced that a “former staff member” had been arrested for having an “inappropriate relationship” with a student.

At the time, neither Drew Charter nor Atlanta Public Schools Police would provide additional information. An incident report obtained by Decaturish shows the man accused is Elliot Hinton, who previously worked as a technical specialist at the school. His LinkedIN profile shows he started working at the school in 2019.

A booking photo of Elliot Hinton. Photo provided by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

Records show Atlanta Public Schools Police arrested him on Nov. 15. Officers responded to a report of child sexual exploitation at 8:18 a.m., the morning of his arrest. It’s unclear if he was arrested at the school or off campus.

The report says he was accused of enticing a child under 14-years-old for indecent purposes and sexual exploitation of children. The records provided by DeKalb County show he’s facing a sexual exploitation charge and a charge of first degree sexual contact by an employee or agent, both felonies. It’s not clear why the report and county records show different charges.

Hinton is currently in the DeKalb County jail, but court records show he will have a bond hearing on Dec. 13. The motion for a bond hearing says, “That the Defendant poses no significant threat or danger to any person, to the community, or any property in the community and will not jeopardize the safety of the community if admitted to bail in this case.”

Hinton’s attorney, Jay Abt, said, “He is not guilty, and we look forward to our day in court to prove his innocence.”

On Nov. 16, Drew Charter Head of School Peter McKnight acknowledged the arrest and said the school remains committed to student safety.

“We are deeply disturbed by the recent allegations of an inappropriate relationship involving a former staff member at Drew Charter School. The safety and well-being of our students are our top priority, and we take any misconduct allegations extremely seriously,” he said. “Upon learning of the allegations, we notified the appropriate authorities and fully cooperated with their investigation. Our school will continue to support law enforcement throughout this process.  Because we need to be careful not to compromise the investigation, we can’t share any more details at this time.

“We want to reassure our community that we hold our staff to the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and the duty of care for our students. We are committed to providing all students with a safe and supportive learning environment. We understand that this situation may raise concerns and questions. Drew remains vigilant in its dedication to the safety and well-being of our students. We will continue to work collaboratively with our stakeholders, including parents, students, faculty, and community partners, to support our school. If anyone has any additional information pertinent to this ongoing investigation, please contact the Atlanta Public Schools Police Department at (404)802-2000. We appreciate the understanding and support of our community during this challenging time.”

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