A Little Rock man, who is being called a superstar social studies teacher, is behind bars and accused of murder. Police arrested the 34-year-old on New Year's Eve after finding his 2-year-old son dead.
Demar Sanders taught at Hall High School for eight years. He is now on paid administrative leave. The school's principal feels a great loss.
Led away in police custody, Sanders, we're told by his boss, looks nothing like the man in handcuffs. Hall High School Principal John Bacon says Sanders is a polite gentleman who has a way of captivating and engaging his ninth grade students.
Bacon chose not to speak on camera but had lots to say about the man he calls a phenomenal teacher. School records show every year Sanders had a “perfect, immaculate performance evaluation.” The principal calls Sanders a respectable, inspirational, polite person.
However, in court early Tuesday morning he was in handcuffs accused of murder. Little Rock Detective Steve Moore spoke about the arrest on Sunday.
Moore says, "When we first arrived, we couldn't get him back to the door. Maybe 20 minutes later, Mr. Sanders did come to the door covered in blood; made the statement that he killed his son. Officers found the 2-year-old son inside the house dead from stab wounds."
Reports say Sanders left a Sunday morning church service in Conway and came home to Little Rock with his son. Police received a call that 2-year-old Zackriah might be in danger he left.
This arrest leaves a school district, a principal, and many students very confused with many unanswered questions. The principal has a plan for handling the situation after meeting with the school's crisis team Tuesday. When teachers return from winter break on Thursday, they will be briefed on the situation, with counselors on hand. Then on Monday, when students return, counselors from several institutions will meet in small groups with them, especially those in Sanders' classes.
Bacon is looking for a substitute teacher to take over Sanders' classes through the end of the year. According to the district, Sanders will remain on paid administrative leave pending a hearing before the school board.
Sanders is being held without bond. Prosecutors in the courtroom Tuesday morning requested that status and said police fear others might be in danger.