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Former Ripley High School teacher charged with sexual battery
by Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel
20 days ago | 11408 views | 15 15 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RIPLEY – Former Ripley High School teacher Melissa Mathis is free on $5,000 bond after being charged with two counts of sexual battery Thursday afternoon, according to Tippah County Jail records.

Dist. Attorney Ben Creekmore said earlier this week the investigation involves allegations of an improper relationship between Mrs. Mathis and a student. He declined to discuss the allegations.

Sexual battery – a broad statute -- is basically defined as sexual activity between anyone under the age of 18 and someone in a position of trust over that person.

Mrs. Mathis, 37, listed as 5’8” and 145 lbs., was booked into the jail about 12:40 p.m. Thursday and released shortly afterward on a property bond, according to jail records.

The Tippah County Sheriff’s Department is carrying out the investigation. Sheriff Karl Gaillard was unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon. Other sources said a press conference would be held in the near future to provide further details of the case.

The South Tippah School Board voted 5-0 to accept the resignation of Mrs. Mathis during a special meeting Friday afternoon, Superintendent Frank Campbell said Monday afternoon.

The resignation, effective immediately, was the only business transacted during the meeting, which lasted about 10 minutes. Mrs. Mathis resigned by letter.

Arrangements are being made for other teachers to handle Mrs. Mathis’ classes.

Superintendent Frank Campbell declined further comment on the resignation.

The school board held its January meeting Tuesday, Jan. 10. The matter involving Mrs. Mathis was not publicly discussed.

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Edison
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January 13, 2012
Well look at her still supporting Ripley Tigers even in her mug shot!
straightsense
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January 13, 2012
If allegations are true, if it was a male student....the father needs to whip his behind for telling.
weirdharold
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January 13, 2012
straightsense: You got that one correct!
weirdharold
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January 13, 2012
straightsense: You have right
latrhat8r
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January 13, 2012
And if it was GIRL then that would make it all WRONG, what a double set of standards you live by.
weirdharold
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January 13, 2012
latrhat8r: How did you arrive at that conclusion!
moteasir
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January 13, 2012
Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? Why post her picture and identity now?

Regardless of the details or even hearing from the accused we now have her image, identity, height and even her weight. She will be tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion via the media before she even steps into a court room. Her life is basically over with before we hear any evidence. Nancy Grace and the likes have become millionaires off of the concept. There is plenty of time to persecute this woman if she is found guilty.

I am not taking a side in this matter but the US Constitution gives us the right to a fair trial and due process – let’s all pray we never are put in this situation.

latrhat8r
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January 13, 2012
Photos of suspects that are arrested are posted often either in the paper or on the tv. An arrest means that the suspect is being charged with a crime AFTER the DA determines there is enough evidence to reasonably expect a conviction. This does not mean guilt but yes suspects are going to make news. As far as being in this situation myself, well if my nude photo is sent to a student and then that same photo makes the rounds where its on over half the phones in the high school then I quite possibly deserve to be.
44eagleman
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January 13, 2012
Was it a young man?
FriendofJustice
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January 12, 2012
Yes - it is a low bond. Looks like the double standard is back at play.

If a male teacher is accused of having sex with a female OR a male, there is no bond, there is no parole, there is nothing but hard time.

If a female is accused of having sex with a male - it is treated so differently.

Should it be? Is that acceptable? I think if I were the young man's mother/father I would demand the female teacher do the same hard time males do.
finishmn
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January 12, 2012
I wonder who the judge was that set the bond....
Lisa49
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January 12, 2012
Perhaps if sex was not used by marketing as the number one way to sell then it would not always be on people's minds.

It is hard to inspire a student in something like math when all the signs say sex.
gatekeeper97
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January 12, 2012
Wow Lisa. Hell must have frozen over. I agree with you on something. :)
JANGA
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January 13, 2012
The signs in your math class said "SEX"?? Where did you go to school? Are you sure they didn't say "SIX" and you just needed better glasses?

Call Lisa49 today at: Sex Sex Two - I A CLOWN
finishmn
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January 12, 2012
That seems like a very low bond..for those charges.