Elkhorn South High School’s band director, who had been placed on administrative leave in the midst of an investigation into an alleged inappropriate relationship, has been booked into the Douglas County Jail on suspicion of child abuse.
Michelle Bluford, 55, was arrested on suspicion of a Class 3A felony.
She is alleged to have initiated and nurtured a relationship with a former student over a period of three years, including from June 2017 to June 2019, according to the arrest warrant and a statement late Monday night from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. The relationship eventually led to inappropriate sexual contact, according to the statement provided by Chief Deputy Wayne Hudson.
Last month, the district placed band teachers at Elkhorn South on administrative leave and suspended all summer band activities.
Bluford was admitted to the Douglas County Jail on Monday evening and was unavailable for comment.
The Elkhorn Public Schools issued a brief statement:
“Elkhorn Public Schools is aware of the issuance of an arrest warrant for Michelle Bluford, and we continue to cooperate with the Douglas County Sheriff’s office in their investigation. At this time, this remains an ongoing personnel matter. Pursuant to state law, we are unable to respond to questions or provide additional information.”
Bluford has been a director of instrumental music at Elkhorn South, Benson High School and the Ponca Public School, according to an online biography. Her bands and students have performed at the regional, state and national levels. She has won numerous awards, including the Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award.