Laurie Softley, a 34-year-old music teacher in England, has been charged with gross misconduct after she allegedly drank alcohol with and stripped for separate 17-year-old students. Additionally, Softley is accused of having sex with one of the teenage boys.
Softley, who was teaching at Ecclesbourne School in Duffield, was married. According to reports, despite being caught with two separate teens, Softley was let off with a warning before she had a sexual relationship with another student a few years later.
One of the alleged victims provided the following statement in court:
“She poured us both wine. At some point we kissed. We continued to kiss and took off our tops. We went upstairs to her bedroom. Miss Softley took a condom from her bedside table drawer and we had sex.
The second victim provided a similar statement:
“She took her shirt off. I saw her topless. I believe she took off her trousers because I performed a sex act on her.'”
As for why there has been such a significant increase in instances of teachers having sexual relationships with students, researchers believe that technology is to blame.
According to a report from the Texas Education Association, smartphones make easy for teachers to privately text and talk with students and also make it possible for teachers and students to share explicit images.
SESAME (Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation) President Terri Miller echoed that sentiment, stating “before cell phones, we knew who our kids were talking to” but today, “kids have their own phones, they’re taking them to bed, and parents need to watch more.”
Softley is just the latest teacher to be charged for inappropriate conduct. Over the course of just a few months, educators across the country were arrested for entering into an inappropriate relationship with their students, Tennessee teacher Janet Smothers, LaToya Parker, Florida teacher Caroline Lawson, 26-year-old Allyson Moran and Katherine Ross Ridenhour were all arrested on similar charges. A woman named Kayla Sprinkles was arrested in North Carolina for similar sexual crimes.
The list goes on to include 22-year-old Oklahoma science teacher Hunter Day, 28-year-old teacher Megan Kotarski, 23-year-old history teacher Michelle Schiffer, 29-year-old Alyssia Marie Reddy, special education teacher Jordan Ondish and 28-year-old Samantha Fitzpatrick have all been allegedly carrying on inappropriate relationships with their students.
34-year-old Miranda Nicole Pauley was charged with similar crimes, Nancy Leigh Ann Brann, a former Christian school teacher, was arrested for having sex with a student, Coine Audiat pleaded no contest to having sex with a minor in 2016 and 23-year-old Darci Lake was arrested for an inappropriate relationship. 27-year-old Brittany Zamora from Arizona was arrested on similar charges. Keri Hoffman, 35, was also arrested for an alleged relationship with a student. Similarly, 29-year-old Tiffany Ranweiler-Oblander and 33-year-old Maren Oates were arrested on similar charges.