HCHS band director arrested

Published 2:22 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

STORY UPDATED WITH NEW INFORMATION

AHOSKIE – The band director here at Hertford County High School has resigned in the wake of allegations that he exchanged explicit photos and messages with a student.

Travis Gatling

Travis J. Gatling, age 28 of Winton, was arrested Saturday at his residence. The Hertford County Sheriff’s Office charged Gatling with one felony count of indecent liberties with a student and one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

He has worked as the band director and music teacher at HCHS since October 2018.

Gatling posted a $15,000 bond and made his first appearance in Hertford County District Court today (Tuesday).

Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes said his office was notified by officials with the county’s public school system regarding the allegations against Gatling. HCSO Investigator Clifton Whitby was assigned to the case. Whitby’s investigation led to arrest warrants drawn for Gatling on Jan. 19.

According to information provided by Hertford County Public Schools, administrators at Hertford County High School became aware of the allegations, made by a concerned parent, on Jan. 8. They contacted local law enforcement and immediately suspended Gatling.

“HCPS is deeply disturbed to learn of the charges filed against one of our teachers,” the school system said in a press release sent today (Tuesday). “Ensuring the safety and well-being of our students is our top priority.

“HCPS is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation, and appropriate measures will be taken to address this situation in accordance with the law and our internal policies,” as stated in the news release. “The school district is committed to providing a safe, secure and nurturing environment for all students. We will continue to provide support to HCHS campus.”

Schools Superintendent Dr. Jesse Pratt stated, “HCPS will not tolerate any behavior that compromises the safety and trust within our educational community. As the legal process unfolds, we will keep our stakeholders informed and take the necessary actions to maintain a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and staff.”

Gatling submitted his resignation on Sunday, Jan. 21.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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