SUNRAY, TX (KFDA) - Residents of Sunray have mixed emotions following the arrest of the former Sunray High School Principal Syd Whiteley.
"This isn't the man we knew" is the message we were given by the community of Sunray after they heard about the arrest of the former principal.
The residents we spoke with today say his arrest comes as a surprise to the small town of Sunray. They say Sunray is a tight-knit community, a community that's stayed under the radar for years.
One retired teacher told us this is not the "Coach Whiteley" who taught her children. She says Whiteley was and is still known as a leader of the community.
She said, "If he walked into this door today, I would greet him with welcoming arms. I think we all would." She goes on to say now isn't the time to turn their backs on someone who's been so involved within the community for years.
However, she says this past year has been a tough one for Whiteley. She says his divorce was finalized less than one month ago.
One judge tells us this isn't the man she's known and worked with for years. Although, she says it's obvious after yesterday's incident that he has a problem, and she hopes he is able to get the help he needs.
One high school student says the word of the arrest made its way around campus fast. The student says she and her classmates arrived to school this morning with unanswered questions and that faculty were instructed not to share any of the details of the arrest with students but to direct them to watch the news.
The student says she is disappointed in her former principal, but we all make mistakes, and she won't allow this one incident to change the way she sees Whiteley.
We reached out to the Sunray School District earlier today, however, they were unable to give us a statement.