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Police: School system anonymous reporting line leads to arrest of teacher

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Wednesday, police confirmed they arrested Aundrea Winbush, 26, after they say she sent nude photos to a Huntsville City Schools student.

Police say Winbush was a teacher at Lee High School at the time. The school system has since told reporters Winbush is "indefinitely removed" from campus and officials are cooperating with law enforcement during the investigation.

"We have the pictures on file that she did send to the student," said Lt. Stacy Bates of the Huntsville Police Department.

Police said lots of things came together to lead to Winbush's arrest. They say the school administrator acted quickly after receiving an anonymous tip from the school system's tip line (256-428-SAFE) by contacting the school resource officer by cell phone. Lt. Stacy Bates praised this action, noting that the school resource officer had been off work at the time, but jumped to action by alerting investigators. The ball started rolling from there, Bates said, to lead to a swift resolution.

Bates said the school system administrators' close relationship with SRO's are important in times like this. So is the anonymous tip line.

School system spokesman Keith Ward said the school system also has an online reporting tool for anonymous tips. It's called Anonymous Alerts.

"Clicking that will bring up a form that a student or parent, or staff member can fill out if they have a concern that may be something regarding safety or well being," he explained.

Ward said the anonymous alerts have been around since last year, but it's important for parents to know about this additional way to get information into the right hands. He said administrators monitor them and direct the concerns where they need to go, and it's working out well.

"This is a way that if [a student, parent, or staff member] wants anonymity, they feel uncomfortable but they feel this is important for us to know," he explained, "we certainly appreciate anytime that anyone has information like that."

In the wake of Winbush's arrest, Lt. Bates suggests parents stay vigilant about their children's use of smart devices.

"Just know what they're looking at," he suggested. "Know what they're receiving in their text messages. Know what kind of apps they're using on their devices. Just be a nosy parent. Be involved."