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Arrested teacher rescinds resignation
0325 Kayla Emily Zittrouer
Kayla Emily Zittrouer

An Effingham County Middle School teacher accused of having sexual contact with a student has changed her mind about resigning from the Effingham County School System.

Kayla Emily Zittrouer, 22, of Guyton resigned as an ECMS special education teacher on March 23, the day before she was arrested by the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office. She was released from jail after her bond was set at $27,700, according to the ECSO’s online records.

Zittrouer had been placed on paid administrative leave March 19, when the investigation into her alleged misconduct began. Her resignation four days later was considered effective immediately, according to Superintendent Randy Shearouse, but needed to be formally accepted by the Effingham County Board of Education at its meeting Wednesday.

However, Shearouse said, Zittrouer sent an e-mail Wednesday prior to the board meeting, requesting that her resignation be rescinded.

“She is still on administrative leave at this point, and we are reviewing our options regarding termination proceedings,” Shearouse said Thursday.

The ECSO’s investigation determined that Zittrouer “provided a 14-year-old student with obscene pictures and had inappropriate sexual contact with the student,” according to Chief Investigator Sgt. Don White.

She was charged with cruelty to children, sexual assault by a teacher engaged in sexual contact, enticing a child for indecent purposes, child molestation and three counts of computer pornography.

Being arrested does not automatically terminate a teacher’s employment with the Effingham County School System, Shearouse said. As contracted employees, teachers are afforded certain legal protection that at-will employees do not have.

“They still have a right for due process and you go through those proceedings, and that’s what we’re currently doing,” Shearouse said.