Former Hawkins County teacher charged with statutory rape


HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- A former Surgoinsville Middle School teacher has been arrested on charges of stautory rape. 

Court documents show 27-year-old Ona Elisha Wilder of Rogersville was arrested last week on two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure. 

Hawkins County Director of Schools Matt Hixson confirmed with News Channel 11 that Wilder was let go for unrelated reasons at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. 

Court documents show Wilder was arrested on two charges of statutory rape by an authority figure for two incidents that reportedly happened in March 2017 and October 2017.

A search on the Tennessee Department of Education website’s public license view shows that Ona Elisha Wilder is still licensed as an ‘Apprentice Teacher’ through August 2019. 

According to the Department of Education, after the license is issued, any revocations or discipline regarding teaching licenses go through the State School Board.

A board spokeswoman issued the following statement about Wilder:

“The State Board’s staff works hard to maintain strong relationships with districts across the state to address any educator licensure concerns. In this particular case, the local district reached out to our office and alerted us of the situation regarding Ms. Wilder. Presently, we are looking into the specifics of the case will make a determination whether or not this educator needs to be placed under review.”

Wilder was jailed on a $20,000 bond and court records show she has since been released.

She is due to be arraigned in a Hawkins County courtroom on April 26th. 

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