Tennille Whitaker, a 40-year-old married elementary school teacher from Nevada has been arrested for allegedly having multiple sexual encounters with two male high school students over the course of two years.
Whitaker, 40, was taken into custody on Monday, June 5, and charged with eight counts of sexual conduct between an employee of school and pupil.
According to the Elko County Sheriff’s Office, Whitaker’s arrest was the result of an eight-month investigation that got began from a tip from a concerned parent. The two alleged victims were between the ages of 16 and 18 and were high school students at the time of the encounters. Some of the sexual encounters allegedly occurred on school grounds.
The alleged incidents occurred over a two-year span, with some incidents occurring on school grounds. The Elko County Sheriff’s Department began investigating the allegations in October of last year after receiving a tip from a concerned parent who noticed Whitaker was behind closed classroom doors with a student and thought it was inappropriate.
The school district began conducting its own investigation in February, speaking to teachers and faculty at Wells Combined School. Students who were interviewed for the investigation claimed they were unaware of any sexual activity between Whitaker and students.
Even though she had not yet been charged, the school district issued a written warning to Whitaker that reinforced the district’s policy regarding professional boundaries between staff and students. Both the sheriff’s and the school district’s investigations met with resistance.
Elko County School District Superintended Jeff Zander said in a statement that Whitaker has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the allegations.
Whitaker had been working with the school district for 11 years. She was released from jail Tuesday, June 6, on $160,000 bail.