The Wichita Police Department in Kansas arrested a Maize High School teacher on May 7 for suspicion of unlawful sexual relations with students. Johnny Yelverton was booked into Sedgwick County Jail while authorities investigate the incident.
Johnny Yelverton Arrested
Records reveal that Johnny Paul Yelverton, 44, was arrested on Monday for two counts of unlawful sexual relations, and one count of failure to report suspected child abuse.
He was a fire science, as well as law and public safety pathways teacher at Maize High School in Kansas. Yelverton’s arrest comes after Wichita PD investigated possible sexual relations between him and a 17-year-old student.
Johnny Paul Yelverton is charged with:
Kansas law defines unlawful sexual relations as “consensual sexual intercourse, lewd fondling or touching, or sodomy” when the offender is someone in a position of influence or power over the victim. Those in positions of influence include teachers, correctional officers, parole officers, law enforcement personnel, social services, and foster homes.
Maize District Responds
Yelverton was a law enforcement officer before he was hired as a teacher in 2016. He taught at Maize High School, and Maize South High School in the Maize Career Academy.
Maize superintendent Chad Higgins confirmed Yelverton’s arrest in a letter to parents, and said that the teacher “will not be permitted to return to work pending law enforcement investigation.” A substitute will fill in for the rest of the school year.
Higgins added that school authorities will cooperate with the investigation, but cannot provide further details. Additionally, the district will conduct an independent investigation into the incident.
Johnny Yelverton’s Past
According to a local student magazine, Play, Yelverton worked in retail before joining the Air Force at 23. He was a crew chief and intelligence analyst.
He traveled overseas and lived in several parts of the U.S., moving from Texas to Wichita where he was stationed at a local air force base. Yelverton reportedly left the Air Force because he spent too much time away from his family.
After the Air Force, he spent a decade working for the police and fire rescue in Augusta. He was also a part-time EMT in Butler County.
He taught the D.A.R.E. program for second to fifth graders, and the Girl Scouts. In 2015, he was named Kansas D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year by the Kansas Juvenile Officer’s Association. He was unable to accept the award at the time because he was away on a family vacation.
With his background in law enforcement, Yelverton decided to turn to teaching.
In the same magazine, Yelverton said that he fears watching the students he taught ethics to fail. He added, “People are going to do stupid things. But if you come through here, if I put your picture on my wall when you graduate, when you get into a uniform or something, and you fail me or you fail yourself or you fail your family or your community, that’s my biggest fear. To see your picture on the news when you have done something wrong.”