Jefferson County teacher arrested following investigation into relationship with student

Crime and Courts

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A former Jefferson County High School teacher is facing charges stemming from a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.

Matthew Wilder resigned in November following an internal investigation by Jefferson County Schools. The investigation began Sept. 23 of last year when an anonymous email was sent containing text messages and other details about the inappropriate relationship between Wilder and a now-former student that began in November 2019.

A Jefferson County School District representative conducted the initial review and found there was enough information shared to warrant a suspension pending a full investigation, according to the district.

Wilder, an AP History and European history teacher for the last seven years at JCHS, was suspended Oct. 2. Director of Jefferson County Schools Shane Johnston and Mandy Schneitman, the district’s supervisor of student services at the time, contacted the Dandridge Police Department the same day about the investigation.

“The school district notified appropriate state agencies including Department of Children’s Services, local law enforcement, and the Tennessee Department of Education’s Office of Teacher Licensure,” a release from the school district states. “The district will continue to work with law enforcement and other agencies assisting in this case.”

Wilder resigned Nov. 5. He faces charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and solicitation of a minor to observe sexual conduct.

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