Pell City teacher charged with second degree rape - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Pell City teacher charged with second degree rape

Posted: Updated:

A Pell City teacher off the job after being charged with second degree rape by the St. Clair County District Attorney.  Heather Whitten, a teacher with Williams intermediate School in Pell City, was arrested last Friday.  Dr. Bobby Hathcock, Pell City School Superintendent, said Monday, "Whitten is no longer with us."

From school leaders, to people  in Pell City this has been a very sad and surprising arrest. The Pell City Superintendent told us an investigation like this one is incredibly rare. Especially for a teacher with no previous history of problems.

"I graduated in 2000 and I've never heard of anything like this, so it's very surprising about it," Christie England, who lives in Pell City said.

5th grade reading and language arts teacher Heather Whitten's arrest came as a surprise for school alumni and people living in Pell City.

 "It's terrible. If it happened at my daughter's school I wouldn't like it at all," Jennifer Duncan, who lives in Pell City said. "She's going to that school next year. It really makes you think. It makes me worry."

"Kids look up to their teachers," Stephanie Fugatt, a Pell City resident said. "They are supposed to be role models. Whenever they are arrested for something like this, it's not right. How do you explain it to your kids?"

Whitten was arrested Friday afternoon at Williams Intermediate, but school leaders say the incident did not happen on their campus.

 "That was the first time we were aware there were any kind of problems," Dr. Bobby Hathcock, Pell City Superintendent said. 

Whitten has been suspended with pay until the investigation is complete. In the meantime, a substitute will fill in for her classes.

"The welfare of our students and staff and those kinds of things are of the utmost importance to us," Dr. Hathcock said. "We're going to insure they are taken care of. All of our employees go through a serious state and federal background check and they have to pass that before we can employ them."

The St. Clair County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case. Whitten's court hearing is scheduled for April 4th.


  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Civil rights protesters march at state capitol

    Civil rights protesters march at state capitol

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:22 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:22:20 GMT
    More than 20 people, including civil rights leaders and ministers, have marched around the state Capitol and Statehouse in the first day of a seven-day protest that stretches across the Southeast.Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma says the marchers in Alabama are joining those in North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia to protest attacks on civil and human rights.The Alabama group marched around the Capitol and Statehouse in hot, humid weather Frida...More >>
    More than 20 people, including civil rights leaders and ministers, have marched around the state Capitol and Statehouse in the first day of a seven-day protest that stretches across the Southeast.Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma says the marchers in Alabama are joining those in North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia to protest attacks on civil and human rights.The Alabama group marched around the Capitol and Statehouse in hot, humid weather Frida...More >>
  • Alabama lands commitment from 4-star linebacker Joshua McMillon

    Alabama lands commitment from 4-star linebacker Joshua McMillon

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:12:39 GMT
    Alabama's recruiting class is getting crowded. Four-star linebacker Joshua McMillon committed to the Tide, which already has 21 verbal commitments for it's 2015 class.More >>
    Alabama's recruiting class is getting crowded. Four-star linebacker Joshua McMillon committed to the Tide, which already has 21 verbal commitments for it's 2015 class.
    More >>
  • World record-holding Paralympian visits Anniston High School

    World record-holding Paralympian visits Anniston High School

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:00:23 GMT
    Blake Leeper told Anniston students Friday about the troublesome news that doctors shared with his parents on August 31, 1989. "Mr. and Mrs. Leeper, I'm sorry, but Blake was born missing both of his legs. I'm sorry, but the chances for Blake to even walk are very low," he told the Anniston teens.  Blake Leeper is now a gold medal winning runner and holds a world record for the fastest time in the 4x100 meter relay.More >>
    Blake Leeper told Anniston students Friday about the troublesome news that doctors shared with his parents on August 31, 1989. "Mr. and Mrs. Leeper, I'm sorry, but Blake was born missing both of his legs. I'm sorry, but the chances for Blake to even walk are very low," he told the Anniston teens.  Blake Leeper is now a gold medal winning runner and holds a world record for the fastest time in the 4x100 meter relay.More >>
  • Firefighters still in hospital after ice stunt

    Firefighters still in hospital after ice stunt

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:55 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:55:26 GMT
    A charity stunt that has grown into a social media phenomenon went terribly wrong for four Kentucky firefighters when a fire truck's ladder got too close to a power line after they dumped water on college...More >>
    Two central Kentucky firefighters are still hospitalized a day after they were shocked by a power line while helping out with an "ice bucket challenge."More >>
  • Ebola: Care and recovery of 2 American aid workers

    Ebola: Care and recovery of 2 American aid workers

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:35 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:35:16 GMT
    Two American aid workers have recovered from Ebola and left an Atlanta hospital, after weeks of intensive treatment in a special isolation unit.More >>
    Two American aid workers have recovered from Ebola and left an Atlanta hospital, after weeks of intensive treatment in a special isolation unit.More >>
  • Man charged in funeral home theft

    Man charged in funeral home theft

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:38:34 GMT
    Jerry William Duke charged with two counts of third degree burglaryJerry William Duke charged with two counts of third degree burglary
    A Shelby County man is in custody after police say he stole from the same funeral home twice. 32-year-old Jerry William Duke has been charged with two counts of third degree burglary. An undisclosed amount of money was taken from the funeral home in both instances.The two break ins occurred at the Midway Memory Gardens funeral home off of Alabama Highway 21 in Talladega County. Captain John McCoy with Talladega police confirm that Jerry Duke broke into the main building of the funeral home...More >>
    A Shelby County man is in custody after police say he stole from the same funeral home twice. 32-year-old Jerry William Duke has been charged with two counts of third degree burglary. An undisclosed amount of money was taken from the funeral home in both instances.The two break ins occurred at the Midway Memory Gardens funeral home off of Alabama Highway 21 in Talladega County. Captain John McCoy with Talladega police confirm that Jerry Duke broke into the main building of the funeral home...More >>
  • Alabama high school football scores from Thursday night, August 21

    Alabama high school football scores from Thursday night, August 21

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:13 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:13:27 GMT
    Alabama high school football scores from Thursday night via the AHSAA:More >>
    Alabama high school football scores from Thursday night via the AHSAA:More >>
  • Friday Night Rivals Game of the Week: Walker at Pell City Aug. 22

    Friday Night Rivals Game of the Week: Walker at Pell City Aug. 22

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:41 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:41:00 GMT
    Friday Night Rivals kicks off the 2014 high school football season tonight in Pell City, where the Panthers will host the Walker Vikings in the Game of the Week.More >>
    Friday Night Rivals kicks off the 2014 high school football season tonight in Pell City, where the Panthers will host the Walker Vikings in the Game of the Week.
    More >>