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Former Durham County teacher faces sex charges

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Michelle Smith White, 37, was arrested July 2 and charged with felony sex offense with a student and felony indecent liberties. (WTVD)

A former Durham County teacher faces charges that she had an inappropriate relationship with a female student.

Michelle Smith White, 37, was arrested July 2 and charged with felony sex offense with a student and felony indecent liberties.

The Durham County Sheriff's Office said White began a sexual relationship with the student - who was 15 at the time - in 2012 while White was a dance teacher at Jordan High School.

"The investigation started when the child's parents brought it to our attention," said Paul Sherwin, the public information officer for the Durham County Sheriff's Office. "It's unfortunate. Students are young and impressionable and they're not- even if they think that they're able to give consent- the fact is they're so young and they're not capable of making informed decisions and they can't, they can't give consent to an adult when it comes to sexual relationships."

Durham Public School leaders told ABC11 White started teaching at Jordan in 1997, but would not say why she resigned last April.

"The allegations against this teacher are very serious, and all of us from the school leadership to district administration will continue to do everything we can to support the Durham Sheriff's Office in their investigation. The physical and emotional safety of our students is our No. 1 priority," said Chrissy Pearson, Chief Communications Officer at Durham Public Schools.

According to jail records, White was released after posting a $6,000 bond.

Deputies said the case remains under investigation and sheriff's detectives expect additional charges to be filed. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the sheriff's criminal investigations division at (919) 560-0880.

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