FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A former Cumberland County teacher has been charged with more than 50 counts of sex-related offenses involving minors.
On Friday, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office Special Victims' Unit arrested 31-year-old William Landon Smith of Wade.
The sheriff's office said Smith, who formerly worked as a teacher at Cape Fear High School, was communicating with victims through social media apps such as Snapchat.
Smith was charged with 27 counts of first-degree sex exploitation of a minor, 28 counts of indecent liberties with a student, and one count of secretly using or installing a photographic imaging device to arouse or gratify sexual desire.
Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright emphasized that parents, guardians, and custodians should monitor their children's social media accounts and educate them about internet safety.
"It is essential to know who is communicating with your children. Predators are not everywhere, but they may be anywhere," Wright said.
Cumberland County Schools said the district was aware of the arrest.
"While the allegations are extremely disturbing, they are not representative of the 6,000-plus dedicated employees who serve our students on a daily basis," the district said in a release. "As a part of regular procedures, Cumberland County Schools conducts extensive background checks on all employees and conducts ethics training for employees. In addition, employees are reminded annually of district procedures and expectations during the CCS Employee Handbook review period."
The release added that the safety and well-being of students and staff are always top priorities and the allegations were immediately reported to law enforcement.
"District officials will continue to cooperate with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office as they lead this investigation," CCS added.
Smith is being held at the Cumberland County Detention Center on a $425,000 secure bond. His first court appearance is set for 2:30 p.m. on Monday.
Detectives have not identified all the victims that had contact with Smith. Anyone with information is requested to contact Detective S. Odenwelder at 910-677-5477 or Fayetteville / Cumberland County CrimeStoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477).