Police: Teacher kissed, was in love with middle school student

A former Fulton County middle school teacher told police he was falling in love with one of his students, whom he kissed several times in his classroom, according to a police report obtained today by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Fulton County Schools Police Department arrested Timothy Benton, 59, of Roswell, on May 27 and charged him with child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes, according to jail booking records. Benton resigned one day earlier from his job teaching social studies at Crabapple Middle School.

“Mr. Benton stated numerous times that he did kiss (the juvenile) on the lips and texted (the juvenile) that he wanted to see her, but he was trying to do the best that he could due to the nature of how he started to feel for the juvenile victim,” the report states.

Benton told police he had known the student for three years. But during the most recent school year, he realized he started to develop “affectionate feelings” for the student, the report states. Benton said he and the student had been alone together in his classroom, according to police.

In an emailed statement to Channel 2 Action News, the Fulton County school district said it was disappointed in the allegations.

“The alleged conduct goes against the ethics and morals expected in a system where student safety is a top priority,” the school system said. “The alleged behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Fulton County Schools.”

Benton was released from jail Thursday on $50,000 bond, jail records show.