Lincolnton High School principal Tony Worley has resigned from his position amid a school system and law enforcement investigation into alleged misconduct involving students.
According to a press release from Lincoln County Schools, Worley was suspended on Saturday and resigned on Tuesday.
Superintendent Dr. Lory Morrow said Worley has surrendered all professional licenses to be a teacher or school administrator, according to the release.
School officials referred “anyone with information related to this matter” to the Lincolnton Police Department, according to the press release.
City of Lincolnton Chief of Police Rodney Jordan said the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation are assisting his department in its investigation.
“We are investigating some allegations at this point,” Jordan said. “It is too early to make any comments until we have reviewed all evidence and have all the facts. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has assisted our investigations unit and we are also consulting with the SBI’s computer crimes unit. If this gets to the point of any criminal charges, we will send out an immediate press release.”
According to reporting by Charlotte television station Spectrum News, “there were several exchanges between the student and the principal through social media accounts on Snapchat, Grindr, and Instagram. There were also nude photos found on those accounts of young males. It says Worley's home was in the pictures. His floor and his bedroom were recognized in the photos by the human resources director.
“The document also lists several incidents on different days dating back to April of this year. The warrant says the student admitted to having a romantic relationship with Worley. Several of Worley's vehicles, including a work car, were searched along with phones, computers and USBs.”
School officials said district staff is working to name an acting principal or hire a new principal and will “ensure that effective operations of the school continues throughout the summer months.”
Worley, 56, was hired in 2002 as an assistant principal and was a principal from 2005-2013. Worley served as director of secondary education at the district office from 2013 to 2017 and was again a principal from 2017 to 2019.