A longtime Metro Schools teacher with a lengthy list of accolades has resigned after admitting to sending inappropriate messages to a child.
Arthur Brent Hurst, 60, an employee of Metro Schools for almost 40 years, was most recently an instructional specialist and data coach at Joelton Middle School.
Police said Hurst sent explicit messages to a 12-year-old boy through texting and Facebook, and investigators said the messages contained extremely graphic and sexual language.
Officers took over the student's Facebook page and communicated with the teacher for several days while posing as the child, and Hurst later admitted to sending the messages.
Hurst may not face charges since he never solicited anything from the child, but that boy's step-father is now coming forward in an effort to keep Hurst out of the classroom for good.
Hurst was once head of a teachers' union, was once a candidate for Teacher of the Year and has served as principal at two Metro schools.
"The teacher had asked him to change the contact information in the phone so his parents wouldn't know who he was communicating with," said the step-father.
But the boy's parents say they happened to check his phone one night and saw dozens of sexual messages the teacher sent over a three-day-period.
In one, Hurst asks the 7th grader to measure his genitals.
In another, the teacher describes having sex with women and men.
"He's telling him, 'It doesn't make you gay, everybody does it. You have to try it to decide if you like it,'" the child's step-father said.
The parents immediately notified Metro police, and for several days the conversation continued with officers recording every word.
"He's sick, and he's been teaching for 40 years. He's been teaching for 40 years," the step-father said. "How many people did he actually get to?"
The district attorney looked into the case and said while the communication was inappropriate, nothing illegal occurred.
Hurst violated Metro Schools policy, however, and has resigned from his position.
This is not the first time Hurst has been in trouble. In 2005, he resigned as principal of Rose Park Middle School after sending e-mails to faculty in which he insulted former schools director Pedro Garcia and other leaders.
Channel 4 News stopped by Hurst's home Friday for comment, but nobody answered the door.
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