LaShawn Simmons, a middle school teacher at Houston, Texas' Beverly Hills Intermediate School, has resigned and is facing criminal charges after allegedly having sex with four students.
Parents found explicit text messages and nude photos from the 41-year-old teacher that she sent to the middle school children. When faced with the scandal, Simmons resigned from her teaching position, reports the Houston Chronicle.
“Some stuff happened around the eighth grade. She sent me a couple of text messages; that was about it,” one of the underage boys told CBS affiliate KHOU. “Like, wow, what kind of person would send me this? An adult, and I’m a child.”
Simmons worked for the middle school for 14 years.
Four students have admitted to investigators that they had sex with Simmons.
"We understand there were four students that were involved and they were not her students at the time of the incident. They had already passed through the intermediate school level and were in high school. It doesn't make it any better, certainly," Dr. Kirk Lewis, superintendent of the Pasadena Independent School District, said. "When something like this happens, it's usually a less-experienced teacher. Again, it just makes it that much worse; she knew better."
Simmons is being charged with sexual assault of a child, as one of the students was a minor, and faces criminal prosecution, as she had child pornography in her possession, two counts of improper relationship between a teacher and a student, and online solicitation of a minor.
Simmons is not the only female teacher to have recently landed in trouble for engaging in a sexual relationship with a student.
Kelly McKenzy Watson, a 34-year-old San Diego area teacher, is pregnant with her 17-year-old special needs student’s baby.
The student attended the New Haven Youth and Family Services in Vista, Calif., which works with emotionally disturbed boys. Watson met the boy while working there between September 2010 and August 2011 and began dating him.
When the relationship was made public, New Haven’s CEO Doreen Quinn stood by Watson, stating the school did not believe the accusations and was "dismayed and saddened by the findings that resulted in [Watson's] arrest," according to the Daily Mail.
However, the allegations were true, and, last Wednesday, Watson was sentenced to three years’ probation and a year in jail but will be let out before her due date in April.
The teenage father was in court during the sentencing and cried when his lover's sentence was read, according to XETV-TV.
“He is very much in love with her and is looking forward to the baby,” Deputy District Attorney Mary Ellen Barrett told the Union-Tribune.
Amethyst Tate graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology. During her time at IBT, her articles have been sourced by various...