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Teacher accused of sexually abusing teen student makes first court appearance; new details about work history

Douglas County Sheriff's Office deputies say they found Erin Ward with the student in the back of her SUV early Saturday morning.
Posted at 5:44 PM, Apr 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-16 18:53:23-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Substitute teacher, Erin Ward, made her first court appearance Tuesday morning to face a felony charge. The 45-year-old is accused of sexual abuse by a school employee. Douglas County Sheriff's Office deputies say they caught Ward with a 17-year-old Burke High School student in the back of her SUV early Saturday morning — called to the area by a neighbor who reported a suspicious car parked on their street.

  • Ward's bond was set at $25,000.
  • Her next court appearance, a preliminary hearing, is scheduled for May 22.
  • Investigators believe it's possible there could be more victims. Contact the DCSO Tipline at 402-444-6000, or, call 911.

KMTV reached out to eight other local school districts to see whether ward taught or worked outside Omaha Public Schools.
With Millard Public Schools, Ward was a paraprofessional from 2013 to 2015. Since 2017, she has been a substitute teacher. A spokesperson explained that Ward's time this current school year has been limited. She worked three days total — all at Central Middle School.

For Papillion La Vista Community Schools, Ward was an elementary paraprofessional substitute from 2009 to 2013.

Representatives with Gretna, Ralston, Bellevue, Bennington, Elkhorn and District 66 tell 3 News Now that Ward never worked for those respective school districts.

Through the Nebraska Department of Education, we've learned Ward was certified as far back as 2001 to be a substitute teacher in the state. Her current certificate went into effect a few years ago and was set to run through 2027. She had no disciplinary action on file.

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