By Southern Torch Staff
FORT PAYNE, Ala. — From the Office of DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden: On Friday, October 2, 2020, the administration of Sylvania High School and The DeKalb County Board of Education began an internal investigation following an allegation of inappropriate behavior by a now-former teacher at Sylvania High School, Dustin Dalton. Superintendent Barnett contacted the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office then contacted the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR).
All agencies were immediately provided information gathered as a result of the internal investigation. That same day, The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office began their investigation alongside the Board of Education and DHR. All three agencies have been in communication daily since the investigation began with a subsequent arrest made on Monday with charges of Enticing a Child for Immoral Purposes and Dissemination of Obscene Material.
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s office and the DeKalb County Board of Education assures the public that we are working alongside one another to ensure that justice is served.
Sheriff Welden added, “Ensuring a full and adequate investigation is vital to ensuring that justice is served. We will work tirelessly to ensure the court has all the information need to provide justice for the victims and their families.”
Barnett also included, “I am sickened by the news and what has transpired, I pray for the families and for justice to be served. I appreciate the partnership with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and DHR and look forward to working alongside them for the duration of this investigation.” Due to the fact that this is still very early in the investigation, more charges may be added at a later date. If anyone feels as though they have been a victim, please contact The DCSO Investigators at the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office 256-845-3801.
In addition to this joint statement, on Friday, Fort Payne City Schools Superintendent Jim Cunningham stated an employee of the city school system has been charged with the criminal offense of inappropriate conduct with a student.
The Fort Payne Board of Education met early on Friday morning to accept the teacher's resignation. The teacher charged with the offense, Donovan Dalton, 28 of Rainsville, is the twin brother of Dustin Dalton, a Sylvania teacher who was arrested earlier this week for similar charges.
Southern Torch will continue to update on this developing story.
Full Statement from the DeKalb Co. Sheriff's Office:
FORT PAYNE, Ala. — From the Office of DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden: A second teacher is behind bars regarding sexual abuse allegations.
On October 8, 2020 DeKalb County Sheriffs Office received a complaint about inappropriate activity between an adult male and a juvenile. After a thorough investigation into the matter, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested the suspect for having engaged in inappropriate contact with an unnamed juvenile.
Donavan Wayne Dalton (28 of Rainsville) was arrested last night and booked into the DeKalb County Detention Center.
Due to the fact that Dalton was an employee with the Fort Payne School System and the juvenile being within a school system, Dalton was charged with School Employee Having Sexual Contact With A Student Under The Age of 19 years of age.
Today (October 9, 2020), Dalton went before a Circuit Judge for an initial appearance. His bond was set at $ 150,000.
If you have any other information on this case or know of any other victims, please contact the Investigators at the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office at 256-845-3801. Your identity will be kept confidential.
DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the incident: “This will be an ongoing investigation as our investigators continue to gather more information. More charges are possible as this investigation takes shape.”
“I want the public to be assured that this case is our utmost priority. Nothing matters more than protecting the children of our county. Every child should be able to have an education without these types of predatory monsters seeking to take advantage of them,” he said.
“We want to be thorough in these investigations and make sure we seek the appropriate charges so these victims can get the justice they deserve. Mistakes can lead to a miscarriage of justice, and we want to ensure these offenders feel the full weight of the justice system,” said Sheriff Welden.
“God Bless!” Concluded Sheriff Welden.