UPDATE: A Walker County kindergarten teacher who is being investigated by federal and state agencies will not return to the classroom this school year.
Walker County Schools Superintendent Damon Raines confirmed Mark McCormack's status with Channel 3 on Wednesday, but would not elaborate on the nature of the teacher's time away from the classroom.
Parents told Channel 3 they were never alerted about the investigation and found out about it on social media.
"I mean, obviously, everybody wants to know what's going on," Rachel Davis, a parent said.
A teacher at Chattanooga Valley Elementary is being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security. Both agencies would not confirm the nature of the investigation surrounding McCormack.
"I'm concerned that they're investigating him, but really, I'm not placing any accusations on him right now," Davis said.
Davis has a child in McCormack's classroom. She said he wasn't at school Tuesday or Wednesday. Superintendent Raines added "we are cooperating with all agencies and have nothing to report until they have completed the investigation."
Channel 3 visited McCormack's Flinstone home on Wednesday, but no one answered the door. Parents were quick to come to his defense.
"I don't feel like he would have done anything to my children in the past," Davis said.
Channel 3 has filed an open records request for any complaints filed against McCormack in his time as an educator along with any reports from the Walker County Sheriff's Office.
Parents said they never suspected anything.
"He's been awesome with my girls. I mean, they love him. He's a great teacher. He's taught them so much and I've never been concerned about him around my children," Davis said.
For now, Davis said she's waiting for the investigation to be complete.
"People are making accusations about things. Of course if he's charged with some of that, then yeah, but it could be nothing. People are making a big deal out of something that could be nothing."
Walker County's last day of school is Friday.
Stay with WRCBtv.com for more on this developing story as we learn more from authorities and school officials.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Department of Homeland Security in its investigation into a Walker County Elementary School Teacher.
The GBI confirmed the investigation through email Tuesday, but would not comment on the nature of the investigation.
“We have no additional details to release at this time,” said a spokesperson for GBI.
A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, which investigates a wide range of topics from border security to cyber security, has not yet responded to Channel 3’s requests for information about the investigation.
The Department of Homeland Security tells Channel 3, the do not confirm the existence or absence of an investigation until charges are filed, according to department policy.
Walker County School Superintendent, Damon Raines released this statement in regards to the investigation,
"I was contacted early this morning concerning an investigation that involved a Walker County employee. This is being handled by several agencies and our role is to cooperate fully with the investigation. We are currently waiting to hear from these agencies for additional information and guidance."