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Ronald Parker

A Cumberland County elementary school principal is facing charges in connection with allegations of inappropriate behavior with a 3-year-old child.

Ronald Thomas Parker, 58, a Principal of four years at Eastover-Central Elementary School in Eastover, surrendered to authorities Wednesday afternoon on charges of statutory sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a child.

Parker was released under a $50,000 unsecured bond and is scheduled to appear before a judge Thursday afternoon. Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said the alleged crimes happened at Parker’s home at 1111 Asbury Road in Fayetteville sometime between May 29 and May 31.

Tanna said the child told her mother about the alleged encounter while she was being bathed. She would not say how Parker knows the child but said the child is not a student and that there have been no allegations involving schoolchildren.

A Cumberland County Schools spokeswoman said Parker, who has worked for the school system for more than six years, was suspended with pay on June 4. He started as a teacher at Jack Britt High School in December 2002 and later became an assistant principal there. He became principal at Eastover-Central in June 2005.

"From what I understand, he was very well-respected by his friends and by the teachers that worked with him in the school," Tanna said. "The teachers think very highly of him. It’s a very sad day for that school."

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