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Why Do Convicted Pedophiles Still Have NC Teaching Licenses?

Superintendent Catherine Truitt is giving more protection to criminal teachers than to children.


We've been told during this campaign that the Superintendent of Public Instruction has no power, but that's not true. Catherine Truitt's office suspends and revokes teachers' licenses who have committed crimes and sexually abused children.


Due to Truitt's apparent lack of oversight, at least two convicted pedophiles hold North Carolina teaching licenses in good standing today.

Shawn Hicks, former Harnett County Teacher of the Year, was fired after he was arrested on three charges of sex crimes against a student on April 6, 2022, according to a WRAL report

Hicks used both his position as a teacher and as a pastor at a church in Bunn to lure students to his home, sources told WRAL News.

Under Catherine Truitt's supervision (or lack of), this pedophile kept his license for two years, without suspension.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced for child abuse on February 2nd, 2024.

Today Shawn Hicks has an NC teaching license in good standing.

​Parker Brown, a fifth-grade teacher in Pender County, was arrested on September 29, 2022, for six charges of second-degree sexual exploitation of minors, one charge of third-degree sexual exploitation of minors for possessing child pornography, and one charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Upon his arrest, Brown immediately resigned from Pope Elementary School according to reports. 


In January 2024, Brown was finally convicted after keeping his teaching license for 16 months without suspension. Today Parker Brown has a North Carolina teaching license in good standing, even after being placed on the sex offender registry.



Last year, it was revealed that the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's (DPI) teacher licensing and sanctioning process had serious lapses. Several school boards and principals in Lee and Onslow counties contacted Superintendent Truitt regarding teachers who had surrendered their teaching licenses after being investigated for sex abuse crimes.

However, they still had their licenses.

Truitt's official policy is to wait until a guilty verdict is handed down before acting on teachers charged with sex crimes. In reality, Truitt's predecessors had followed the suspension process for decades before Truitt's lawyer incorrectly wrote that there was no legal process for suspending licenses.

Catherine Truitt's department website explains the grounds for suspending a teaching license:

DPI's Grounds For Suspending or Revoking Licenses

Convicted Pedophile Jeremy Flock

 Last year Catherine Truitt refused to revoke the license of another convicted pedophile and former teacher Jeremy Flock after a watchdog group brought it to her attention. Representative Tricia Cotham and Senator Amy Galey intervened and convinced Truitt to revoke the pedophile's license by state law.

It took Truitt one month of being cajoled by school board members and the public before she took action to revoke Flock's license.

Like the other criminals mentioned in this article, Flock had been free on bail for more than a year and convicted of crimes while still maintaining an active license.

​Allowing charged and convicted pedophiles to possibly have access to schools is a feature, not a bug of Catherine Truitt’s administration. Her words and actions show she has no intention of consistently upholding teaching license regulations in North Carolina.  

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