To the Editor:
The News + Record’s article on Mr. Eric Hudson, the accused 4th grade teacher, has made me feel sick to my stomach. I am a close neighbor and decades-old friend of Mr. Hudson’s family and in the last decade, Mr. Hudson. There are many untruths in this one-sided article. It sensationalizes a case that has not been resolved. It has cast these youth as victims and not as confrontational trespassers. It perpetuates a long-held rumor of devil-worshipping that puts our neighborhood and neighbors at risk for more incursions. It smears Mr. Hudson’s character and may ruin his chances of ever regaining his job. It is irresponsible and damaging.
I have lived in this neighborhood on the private driveway, River Bend Road, for over 40 years. My closest neighbor, a graduate of UNC’s fine arts program, is a talented metal sculptor. Large metal sculptures are placed in their pasture that also has goats in it. For over 25 years, these neighbors and our neighborhood have suffered from ongoing incursions of carloads of teenagers, at all hours of the day and night. Some of these teens have threatened violence and committed property damage. A dog has been run over, and a child endangered. Over the years, the sheriff’s department has been called on multiple occasions with mixed results.
This rumor of devil-worshipping is now in its second generation. Teenagers have come from as far as Randolph County.
There are statements in the article that are blatantly untrue. There are no goat heads on stakes. There never have been. The rumor of devil-worshipping is a twisted interpretation of the large sculptures and goats that are in our neighbor’s pasture. There is no devil’s church here — it doesn’t exist.
Mr. Hudson is reported to have threatened these teens with a gun. This is a serious allegation with serious consequences. Taking the word of teenagers who also claimed to have seen goat heads on stakes is suspect at best. Mr. Hudson vehemently denies this.
River Bend Road is a private driveway. These teens were not “just out exploring.” They knew exactly where they were going. They came into our neighborhood, twice in one day.
When confronted about their second trespass, they aggressively cussed out Mr. Hudson. Without consequences, they now feel more entitled and enabled.
There are eight families who live peacefully along River Bend Road. This article not only damages a young man’s reputation and career based on flawed claims, but also has put our neighborhood at risk for more trouble.