BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (WREG) — An Arkansas teacher is behind bars with no bail after being charged with multiple sex crimes relating to a middle school student.
Neighbors that live less than a mile from Blytheville Middle School were stunned to hear about the arrest of 29-year-old Gregory Briggs that was just a day earlier.
“It was kind of shocking; normally we don’t hear a lot of that around this way,” Blytheville resident Samuel Rogers said.
“Being a parent myself, it’s never easy to hear something like that,” Lesley Rogers said.
Briggs is now behind bars at Mississippi County Jail and charged with rape and internet stalking of a child after the parent of a 13-year-old student came forward.
“Especially if you’re a teacher, you’re supposed to be a role model, but role models like that, I mean, who can we trust these days?” Samuel Rogers said.
Blytheville residents our sister station, WREG, spoke with were relived to hear that Briggs is behind bars with no bond, yet they’re concerned this authority figure could have more student victims.
“I’m concerned about my grand baby because she’s there at that school house,” Tammy Rogers said.
“You’re scared for your children, other people’s children and stuff like that,” Samuel Rogers said. “I just can’t imagine it.”
Residents spoke positively about the middle school, saying generations of students had good experiences in the school system.
One man WREG spoke with off-camera claimed to know Briggs and said the allegations surprised him.
Now the community hopes to come together to begin caring for and healing any victims who need it.
“He or she has been victimized, so I think the correct thing to do would be to go about it the right way, follow proper procedure, and that way justice can be served,” Lesley Rogers said.
WREG reached out to the Blytheville School District for additional information but has not heard back.