GASTON COUNTY, N.C. -- Gaston County Schools released a statement after a North Gaston High School history teacher was charged for relations he had with a student.

“When we were made aware of the situation, we began working with the Gaston County Police Department on an investigation. Because this situation relates to personnel, we cannot provide details about the investigation. It is our procedure that whenever allegations related to an employee or a student are brought to our attention, we immediately begin an investigation and also rely on the police to conduct an investigation. We are taking the situation seriously and will continue to cooperate with the police.”

Gaston County Police have charged Stewart Oakley Rice with Indecent Liberties with a Student by a Teacher. Rice is a 23-year-old teacher at North Gaston High School. Gaston County Police initiated an investigation after the School Resource Officer was approached by a staff member at the high school. The staff member advised the SRO that information had surfaced about a teacher involved in an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Rice was identified as the teacher involved in this information. Rice was interviewed and cooperated with the investigation. The female juvenile was also interviewed during the investigation. The Gaston County District Attorney’s Office was consulted in this investigation and advised investigators on the appropriate charge for this offense.

Stewart Rice turned himself in at the Gaston County Magistrate’s Office and was served by an investigator with the Gaston County Police. Rice was released on a written promise to appear.

Rice is currently suspended with pay since he has no previous suspensions or demotions.

Rice is a Social studies teacher as well as the junior varsity basketball coach at North Gaston High.

On the website 'Rate My Teachers,' Rice received an average score of 4.83 out of 5. In the reviews, one student wrote, "Not only was Mr. Rice smart and clear on lessons he was also a great motivator to do well. He was very funny and easy to get along with. Definitely my favorite teacher at North Gaston." Another review stated, "He is a great teacher who makes a boring class into a fun and energetic one."

Anyone with further information is asked to call the Gaston County Police at 704-866-3320 or Crimestoppers at 704-861-8000. Additional questions can be addressed by Captain C. J. Rosselle at 704-866-3397.