UPDATE: Walker Co. teacher under investigation will not return f - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Walker Co. teacher under investigation will not return for 2016-17

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FLINSTONE, GA (WRCB) -

UPDATE: A Walker County teacher under investigation by federal and state agencies is no longer a school employee. Walker County's Superintendent, Damon Raines, said Mark McCormack resigned from being a kindergarten teacher at Chattanooga Valley Elementary on July 20th. 

For months, the Department of Homeland security and the GBI have been looking into him, but at this point, no charges have been filed.

Both agencies still won't confirm the nature of the investigation.     

"I mean I think it'd be hard to do anything with that kind of thing hanging over. Not only just the school, but the entire community," Pierce Sisemore, a parent said.

Sisemore has a kindergartner at Chattanooga Valley Elementary. He's heard about McCormack being investigated by DHS and GBI. 

With McCormack's resignation and the investigation continuing, it's left some parents with questions.

"Kind of makes me feel he may have been guilty of something, otherwise why go away," Sisemore said.

McCormack was accused of taking an inappropriate photo of a student in 2010 and in 2015 for making physical contact with a student. Charges were never filed in either case.

For months, Channel 3 has tried to get in touch with McCormack to get his side of the story. We visited his home again Wednesday, but no one appeared to be there.

A for sale sign now sits in his yard.

"I mean he seemed pretty stable going through school and everything. Just seemed like an okay guy," Aaron Knight, a neighbor said.

Knight lives a few doors down and was once a student of McCormack's. Knight believes it's time to move on.

"Just move past it. I mean this really is a good neighborhood. There's never been many problems throughout this neighborhood. It's a good community that lives here," Knight said.

Walker County's Superintendent said McCormack's position at the school has been filled.

Channel 3 also asked if McCormack gave a reason for resigning or if he mentioned where he would be going, but did not hear back on Wednesday.

The Director of Ethics for The Georgia Professional Standards Commission said there have been no ethics complaints filed against McCormack.  


PREVIOUS STORY: An open records request by Channel 3 is shedding more light on a Walker County teacher who is being investigated by federal and state agencies. Mark McCormack, a kindergarten teacher at Chattanooga Valley Elementary School, missed the last week of classes while multiple agencies were looking into him.

McCormack has been with the school since 2002. His personnel file showed he had good reviews and was only reprimanded once in his 14 years with Walker County Schools.

One review from Principal Heather Culberson praised McCormack and stated "you create positive learning experiences for children every day and I am very grateful that you teach at CVE!"

That falls in line with what parents have told Channel 3 about the teacher.

"My kids love him. He's awesome. I've never had any issues with him at all," Rachel Davis, a parent said.

His file shows he was reprimanded in May of 2010 for using his cell phone while students were in the classroom, which is a violation of the school's policies. Parents are still confused as to why their teacher is being investigated by the GBI and Department of Homeland Security.

"On social media, all the parents that I've seen that have kids in his class or have in the past, they're all defending him because he's a great guy," Davis said.

Two complaints on public record with the Walker County Sheriff's Office paint a different picture. In May of 2010, McCormack was accused of taking an inappropriate photo of a student. Then in January of 2015, there was a new claim of physical contact with a student.

Both times McCormack denied the allegations. Prosecutors decided to not file charges and cited lack of evidence. His personnel file shows no action by the school.

McCormack could not be reached for comment. 

Walker County Schools told Channel 3 they won't be making a decision about McCormack's future as a teacher at the school until they hear back from the investigating agencies. Both are not commenting on the nature of their investigation.

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