Former Broken Arrow elementary teacher arrested for lewd molestation
Edward Hodge, 55, resigned after being accused of inappropriate conduct in the classroom. Police arrested him at his home Tuesday afternoon. He is charged with four counts of lewd molestation.
According to an affidavit, the school contacted police May 17 after allegations that Hodge, then a fifth-grade teacher, was inappropriately touching female students. A parent had reported that multiple students said Hodge "made them feel uncomfortable and has inappropriately touched them."
After the parent reported the allegations, school administrators removed Hodge from the classroom. He offered his resignation letter that morning, and according to the affidavit, said he messed up and had previously been in therapy.
The affidavit says Hodge was already on a personal development plan after another teacher saw a female student sitting on his lap in the classroom. The students told investigators Hodge required hugs when they would enter the classroom and he sometimes touched their legs, thighs and buttocks.
Hodge was taken to the Broken Arrow City Jail before being transferred to Tulsa County Jail. He's being jailed on $200,000 bond.
Broken Arrow Public Schools released the following statement after Hodge's arrest:
Broken Arrow Public Schools is deeply troubled by the charges brought today against a former district employee.
The employee was removed from the classroom as soon as allegations of inappropriate conduct were made, and the proper authorities were promptly notified.
While everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the type of behavior alleged in this case is disgusting and we do not tolerate it. We have been cooperating with the Broken Arrow Police Department and other authorities, and we thank them for conducting a thorough investigation.