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Elementary teacher touched young boys during overnight camp at his home, police say

A Charlotte elementary school teacher was arrested Tuesday after police said he abused children who were enrolled in an overnight summer camp he ran from his home.

Police said 29-year-old Taji Brown inappropriately touched two boys while operating the program at his home on Pebble Creek Way in north Charlotte.

Brown is a fifth-grade teacher at Billingsville Elementary School. He has been with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools since 2011 and was suspended with pay, Observer news partner WBTV reported.

Police said Brown’s camp was called “G.U.D.B.O.Y.S.” (Gentlemen Understanding Destiny By Overcoming Your Statistics), and was billed as a mentoring program. Brown recruited the children for the program, police said, by preying specifically on young boys who had single mothers.

“There was definitely an MO to this individual,” Rob Tufano, police spokesman, said Tuesday.

Police were notified of the program when the parent of a 10-year-old victim said their child told them Brown touched him.

Brown faces two counts of indecent liberties with a child and two counts of indecent liberties with a student.

Authorities are aware of two victims, and are seeing if there are more. Police said there were seven to eight students enrolled in the camp, but are also seeing if additional students were involved in the program. None of the crimes occurred at Billingsville Elementary, police said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Lt. Tom Barry said the case highlights the importance of vetting childcare providers, especially during the summer months. He said CMPD is available to help parents find programs for their children.

“We know it’s very difficult to find childcare when school’s out, but we will be partners with you to help you in that struggle, if that is a struggle for you,” Barry said.

Barry said he is unaware if the school or CMS were aware of the summer camp.

LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS

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