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Teacher arrested after charges of inappropriate contact
0325 Kayla Emily Zittrouer
Kayla Emily Zittrouer

A special education teacher at Effingham County Middle School is in jail on charges of having sexual contact with a student.

Investigators determined that Kayla Emily Zittrouer, 22, of Guyton "provided a 14-year-old student with obscene pictures and had inappropriate sexual contact with the student," according to Effingham County Sheriff’s Office Chief Investigator Sgt. Don White.

Zittrouer turned herself in Tuesday to the ECSO. She was arrested and charged with three counts of computer pornography, first-degree cruelty to children, sexual assault by a teacher engaged in sexual contact, enticing a child for indecent purposes and child molestation.

The Effingham County School System’s internal investigation began Thursday “with some information that the administrators at Effingham County Middle School obtained,” Superintendent Randy Shearouse said. He did not specify the source of the information. The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office started its investigation “first thing Friday morning,” Shearouse added.

Zittrouer was placed on administrative leave Thursday and she gave her resignation Monday, according to Shearouse. The resignation was effective immediately, he said, though the board of education will not act on it formally until their April 1 meeting.

Shearouse credited the ECMS administrators for their handling of the situation. He said they followed proper procedures regarding an allegation of inappropriate conduct by an employee.

“In this case, that has taken place,” Shearouse said, “and I feel the school handled it the appropriate way.”