Former educator accused of sex crimes with students

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A former seventh grade science teacher at Harnett Central Middle, who is also a purported elder in a Franklin County church, is accused of multiple counts of inappropriate sexual contact with three male students.

Shawn C. Hicks, 27, of 51 Wendmist Court, Lillington, was arrested Wednesday and charged with three counts of taking indecent liberties with a student. These are felony charges. Hicks is being held in the Harnett County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond. 

Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats reported a complaint was filed against Hicks on Feb. 26 by parents. His last day on the job at HCMS was a day earlier. After an investigation, officials say three separate students, all boys, were found to be victims. Each event occurred away from the school at the suspect’s home, according to the report. One of the offenses dated back to Jan. 2019.

According to the website shawnchicks.com, Hicks is described as a teacher at the school and an elder at Zion Spring Church of Christ in Bunn.  

On the same website, Hicks is described as “holding a diploma in religious education, being a third generation preacher and appointed as an elder in the church.” The site also claims in 2016, Hicks earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Educational Studies from Campbell University. 

Again, the website boasts during his first year of teaching, Hicks founded “Gentlemen of the Future” - a mentorship for male children living without the presence of a father. The site also states Hicks was the 2018-19 “Beginning Teacher of the Year.” 

Harnett County Schools Public Information Officer Natalie Ferrell released the following statement in an email: “We can confirm that Mr. Hicks worked at Harnett Central Middle School from Dec. 19, 2016 to Feb. 25, 2022 as a science teacher. Mr. Hicks is no longer employed with the Harnett County Schools.

“While we cannot comment on specific personnel issues, Harnett County Schools has high expectations for the professionalism and conduct of its staff. HCS takes any concerns about staff conduct very seriously, and swiftly investigates and takes appropriate action when concerns are raised. The safety of our children is always our top priority.”   

In a follow up interview on Thursday, Sheriff Coats said he is concerned “there may be more victims out there. I am very concerned about what these young male victims and their families are going to have to endure in an effort to undo the damage inflicted by these incidents.”

Robert Jordan can be reached at rjordan@mydailyrecord.com or 910-230-2037.

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