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Omaha high school band director accused of sex with student

July 20, 2021 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A west Omaha high school band director has been arrested, accused of inappropriate contact and sexually abuse of a former student over a three-year period.

An arrest warrant was issued Monday for 55-year-old Michelle Bluford, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Bluford has been director of the Elkhorn South High School band for several years and has been employed by the district for two decades. She previous also taught in the Ponca Public Schools and Omaha Public Schools districts.

Bluford was arrested around 7 p.m. Monday and booked into jail on the warrant charging her with felony child abuse, the sheriff’s office said. Investigators believe Bluford groomed a student at Elkhorn South starting in 2017, which led to sexual contact with the student.

The sheriff’s office said it first learned of the alleged abuse in June and launched an investigation. That happened around the same time that the Elkhorn School District placed the school’s band teachers on administrative leave and suspended all summer band activities.

In a written statement, Elkhorn Public Schools declined to comment on the charges against Bluford, citing personnel privacy, other than to say the district is cooperating with investigators.