BURTON, Mich. (WJRT) – Parents made explosive allegations at the Atherton Community Schools board meeting on Monday evening, hours after a longtime teacher was accused of having a sexual relationship with teenage student.
Jerry Cutting was a band and choir teacher at Atherton schools for 30 years. He also coached several middle school girls sports teams.
The Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office announced six counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct have been filed against Cutting for an alleged sexual relationship he had with a 13-year-old female student beginning last spring.
“This began on the last day of the 2021-2022 school year, when our victim was still basically in the eighth grade,” said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
The relationship allegedly continued into this fall after the girl turned 14. Three students alerted Atherton school administrators about the relationship on Thursday, the Burton Police Department launched an investigation and Cutting was arrested Friday.
Authorities detailed the allegations against him on Monday afternoon. Leyton said Cutting acted as a mentor to the victim and took advantage of her.
Leyton said that Cutting is accused of engaging in sexual acts with the teenage student at locations all over Genesee County, including at Atherton High School, at Cutting’s residence in Clayton Township and at hotels.
Parents and former students crowded into the school board meeting hours later. Emotions ran high as many said they tried to warn the district about Cutting’s behavior.
One by one, parents and former students stood up and said there were plenty of red flags before Cutting was arrested. Former students told board members that they asked for cameras to be installed in Cutting’s classroom and detailed alleged incidents in locker rooms from years ago.
School board members defended their actions during the meeting.
“I hate this as much as you do. I promise you,” said school board president Craig Lanter. “Unfortunately, sometimes our hands are tied.”
Cutting remains on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues. He faces 25 years to life in prison if he is convicted of any charges against him.
Investigators say any other victims of Cutting should call their local police or prosecutor’s office to report allegations.