May v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Kristin May was employed as a teacher at River Ridge High School, a public secondary school. In January 2011, May spoke with a former student, sixteen-year-old P. M., who no longer was enrolled as a student at River Ridge, and who recently had transferred to a school in the Fulton County School District. As they spoke, P. M. disclosed that she previously had a sexual relationship with Robert Morrow, a paraprofessional at River Ridge. May, however, did not make any report of the sexual abuse. When these circumstances later came to the attention of law enforcement, May was charged by accusation with a criminal violation of OCGA 19-7-5. May filed a demurrer and plea in bar, contending that the accusation charged no crime as a matter of law. When the trial court heard argument, the State and May stipulated to certain facts, namely that P. M. was no longer was a student at River Ridge when she spoke with May in 2011. Because P. M. was not then enrolled at River Ridge, May argued she had no duty under OCGA 19-7-5 (c) (1) to make a report. The trial court denied the demurrer and plea in bar, reasoning that a school teacher is required to report the abuse of any child, even one with whom the teacher has no relationship at all. After review, the Supreme Court concluded May had no legal obligation to report the sexual abuse, and the trial court erred when it sustained the accusation.