Teaching assistant accused of sending inappropriate Snapchat photo of young student

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — A 19-year-old teaching assistant was charged in Union County after deputies said she allegedly took an inappropriate photo of a student.

According to investigators, Hannah Embrey was arrested as part of an investigation by the Union County Sheriff’s Office that began last week. Deputies were told Embrey, an instructional assistant at Shiloh Valley Primary School, was helping a student use the bathroom when she took a photo of the student’s backside and sent the photo to someone on Snapchat.

The school, located in Monroe off Wesley Chapel Road, has students from pre-K through second grades. The district told Channel 9 that Embrey worked with the exceptional children’s program, which is designed to help students with special needs.

“In the defendant’s mind, this was taken as a very bad attempt at humor,” said Lt. James Maye with the Union County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s a bad decision on her part.”

James said a school employee caught wind of the photo on Snapchat and reported it. He said deputies arrested Embrey within days of launching their investigation.

“Social media is a great tool. Camera phones, smart phones are a great tool but they can get you in a lot of trouble,” Maye said.

Embrey was charged with one count of misdemeanor peeping into a room while possessing a photo device and one count of felony disseminating photo obtained by peeping violation.

Union County Public Schools put Embrey on administrative leave pending the outcome of their internal investigation. The district said she has been on leave since Feb. 1.

“From the moment our deputies were notified, we began investigating all the circumstances surrounding this incident,” Sheriff Eddie Cathey said in a statement. “After a timely, thorough investigation, it was evident that this instructional assistant made a bad decision and criminal charges were appropriate. Ensuring the safety and privacy of our local children is a paramount concern for my office and I encourage anyone with additional information about this case to contact our detectives.”

Alaina Edwards said she has wonderful memories from her daughter’s time at Shiloh Valley Primary School. That’s why she says she was horrified to hear the allegations against Embrey.

“That’s sad. They’re precious kids,” Edwards said.

The sheriff’s office called the case an isolated incident. Still, Edwards said she will remind her daughter to speak up if something seems off.

“We talk to our daughter all the time, make sure she tells us anything,” she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the UCSO Main Office at 704-283-3789.

(WATCH BELOW: City officials heard making inappropriate remarks during public meeting)

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