A former Morgan County school employee was arrested on Sunday for an incident involving a high school student.
Mark McAnally was charged with engaging in a sex act as a school employee. The Morgan County Sheriff's Office says the charges stem from a 2017 incident involving an Albert P. Brewer High School student.
After the grand jury indictment, McAnally was taken to the Morgan County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
WAAY 31 reached out to the Morgan County Superintendent Bill Hopkins about the arrest. The district is well aware of the accusations and charges, but cannot provide any additional information since the incident involves a minor. Hopkins says the district is cooperating with the Morgan County Sheriff's Office.
According to Morgan County school officials, McAnally was placed on administrative leave in February of 2018 after they learned about the incident. He resigned in March of 2018.
WAAY 31 spoke to parents and grandparents about the recent arrest.
"When you drop them off at school, you want to know that they’re safe and you’re going to pick them up the way that you left them," said Lisa Pitts.
That was Lisa Pitts' reaction when WAAY 31 told her a former bus driver for Morgan County Schools was arrested and charged with engaging in a sex act with a student under 19.
Laura Curbow felt the same way but was even more upset when WAAY 31 told her deputies say the incident involved a Brewer High School student, because that’s where her granddaughter goes.
“I’m going to ask my granddaughter today if that was her bus driver," Curbow said.
Curbow tells WAAY 31 she’s always been a fan of homeschooling, and she says incidents like this make it even more appealing.
“I wish they would stay home and learn at home," she said. "You can’t trust anybody.”
WAAY 31 spoke with Morgan County school officials who told us Mark McAnally was hired as a bus driver in 1993 before background checks were required.
He worked as a substitute teacher from 1996 to 1999, then he went back to driving buses.
He and all other Morgan County school district employees went through a background check for the first time in 2003, but WAAY 31 was told that McAnally never had a follow-up screening—which is something parents are now pushing for.
“They need to do backgrounds once a year," Curbow said.
“The day and age that we live in now, we cannot be too careful with our children," Pitts added.