The Fort Payne Board of Education moved swiftly Friday morning to accept the resignation of a teacher and coach accused of inappropriate behavior whose twin brother was arrested earlier in the week on similar charges at Sylvania.
City Superintendent Jim Cunningham issued a statement: “At 6:42 a.m., Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department informed me that an employee of the Fort Payne City School System had been charged with the criminal offense of inappropriate conduct with a student. We will fully cooperate with local law enforcement during the ongoing investigation. The Fort Payne Board of Education met Friday, at 10 a.m., Oct. 9, 2020, in an emergency called meeting and accepted the resignation of this now former employee.”
According to the meeting agenda, the employee in question is Donavan Dalton, 28, of Rainsville, who resigned effective at 7 a.m. Friday as a system-wide special education teacher, head varsity tennis coach and eighth grade girls’ basketball coach.
According to the Inmate Roster section of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office website, Dalton was booked into the DeKalb County Jail Friday at 12:06 a.m. on charges of “school employee sex with student”.
Donna Chitwood, secretary to the superintendent, said Dalton was hired in 2015 as a library aide and transferred to full-time employment as a special education teacher on Aug. 1, 2017.
Dalton is believed to be the twin brother of Dustin Dalton, a former Sylvania teacher and coach who was arrested Oct. 5 on charges of Enticing a Child for Immoral Purposes and Dissemination of Obscene Material following a joint investigation by the DCSO, DeKalb County Board of Education and Alabama Department of Human Resources. DCBOE meeting agendas indicate Dustin Dalton served as a coach to varsity boys basketball (eighth and ninth grade), B Team volleyball and boys and girls tennis teams.
According to media reports quoting DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden, Dustin Dalton was released Tuesday from the county jail on a $100,000 bond with no preliminary hearing. Donavan Dalton remained in the jail Friday afternoon with no bond set, according to the DCSO website.
This is a developing story. Anyone with additional information about these cases can contact DCSO investigators at (256) 845-3801.