YORK -- A teacher and coach at York Junior High was arrested Tuesday on charges he sent sexually-oriented text messages to two students, police and school officials said.
Vernon LaMarcus Cheeks, 27, faces two counts of criminal solicitation of a minor after a joint investigation between the sheriff's office and the York school district.
Cheeks, who had worked for the district since August 2005, was placed on leave March 12 after an internal investigation began, Superintendent Russell Booker said. Booker concluded that investigation the next day, he said.
"Based on the findings ... this particular employee is no longer employeed with the school district," Booker said.
Cheeks taught a health class and coached eighth-grade football, and also was an assistant coach on the boys' varsity basketball team, Booker said.
"Our expectation is to provide a safe, secure environment for our students," he said. "We expect all of our employees to maintain professional boundaries when interacting with students. ... As a result of our investigation into this matter, we did not find this to be the case."
Booker declined to comment on the specifics of the case.
"We won't condone or tolerate any action that's going to compromise the safety of our students," he said. "Not just physical (safety), but social, intellectual and emotional."
Sheriff's Office Capt. Jerry Hoffman also declined to comment on specifics in the case, but said the investigation is ongoing.