Students offered counseling

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An estimated 15 middle school students have sought counseling as a result of last week’s arrest of a special education teacher charged with rape and sodomy.

Amy Caudle, 31, was arrested Thursday on two counts of second-degree rape and three counts of second-degree sodomy. She is accused of having inappropriate relations with three students. She was released Friday from the Covington County Jail on a $1 million bond. “Our teachers have been told if students have a problem they can come and talk to us,” said AMS Principal Victoria Anderson. “Basically our kids know anytime they have a concern they can come to us.”

Guidance counselor Mary Lynn Stone said that this is a policy that administrators use every day, not just in this particular incident.

“Our teachers know that if a student starts asking or commenting about the situation, they are to let us know,” she said.

Anderson and Stone estimated between 10 and 15 students have sought guidance about the incident.

“Mainly (those were) her students, those that she has taught in the last three years,” Stone said.

“There have also been a few students who just know her, but didn’t have her as a teacher,” Anderson said.

For those who need additional counseling, the central office has enlisted help of two professional outside counselors.

Additionally, Stone said there have been a few parents who have called, but they have been parents of students they have spoken to.

School officials have also received supportive e-mails from the public, encouraging “us to stay strong,” and “they are praying for us,” Anderson said. “We do appreciate it.”

Stone, who has worked at AMS for 37 years, said the community knows AMS is a “good school.”

“Most parents know we are all about the students,” Anderson said.

“You don’t teach middle school unless you care about adolescent kids,” Stone said. “I wear a shirt the first day of school that says, ‘It’s all about the children.’ That’s basically our motto.”