Ryan Parker McKendrick
Photo: Cherokee County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

Ex-choir teacher accused of sexual battery against student

A former Woodstock High School chorus teacher is facing charges of sexual battery involving a student.

Ryan Parker McKendrick, 36, was arrested Saturday on charges of sexual battery against a child under the age of 16, sexual assault while a teacher, attempted sexual exploitation of a child and tampering with evidence, as well as four counts of distributing obscene material.

McKendrick resigned his post as director of the Woodstock High chorus and orchestra Oct. 15, according to the Cherokee County School District. He had been employed with the district since 2007.

He is the third metro Atlanta teacher to be accused of sexual misconduct involving a child in the past month. Two teachers, one employed with the DeKalb County School District and the other a music instructor who gave lessons out of his home, were found dead after the allegations were brought to light. Authorities said both men appear to have killed themselves.

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“The Cherokee County School District takes the safety and security of our students very seriously,” district spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said. “After conducting an immediate investigation into allegations of inappropriate and unprofessional conduct, our CCSD School Police Department filed charges against the former teacher. We want all students, parents and staff to know that inappropriate behavior by staff toward students will not be tolerated.” 

According to an arrest warrant obtained by AJC.com, over a period of two years, McKendrick allegedly inappropriately touched a girl on multiple occasions while she was in his class. The student took McKendrick’s class from fall 2016 to spring 2018, during her freshman and sophomore years.

In incidents as recent as September, McKendrick is accused of showing a student an obscene photo of a sex act while the student was in his office. He also allegedly asked a student to take nude photos of the student’s friend and suggested, “in a joking manner,” he would pay for them.

“We appreciate those who reported these allegations,” Jacoby said, directing others to report such behavior to school police or administrators. 

McKendrick was arrested by Roswell police and was briefly held in the county jail before he posted a $34,306 bond, a Cherokee sheriff’s spokesman said. 

As conditions of his bond, McKendrick must remain under house arrest and cannot contact anyone with the district or anyone under the age of 18, except his own children. He may have supervised visits with his children if another adult is present, court records show.

In other news:

The shooting happened Monday night.

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