Iowa community reacts after teacher accused of student sex abuse

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GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) - A 39-year-old art teacher and track coach has been accused of groping a student in western Iowa's Mills County.

Christopher Irvin was charged Tuesday with felony sexual abuse and two counts of sexual abuse by a school employee. News of Irvin's arrest shocked the East Mills School District.

"You should never do that to a child. Never. To anybody," said resident Josie Crouch. "We can't even let our kids really go to school and be safe and not have to worry about sick things like that."

A girl reported that Irvin groped her earlier this summer and had other sexual contact with her in April. The criminal complaints say the incidents didn't occur on district property.

Stephanie Butler, a graduate of East Mills, never imagined an incident like this would occur with an East Mills teacher.

"If it was any of my friend's children, anything like that, I would just be extremely irate," said Butler.

The records say Irvin lives in Pacific Junction and works for the East Mills School District. District superintendent Paul Croghan says Irvin will be placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

"Everybody in this community will support the family and support the child whereas, you know, the predator will be basically shunned in our community," said Butler.

Croghan says Irvin is a seven-year employee with the district.