Lyndsey Sherrod Bates, a 22-year-old former teacher in Madison County, Alabama, was arrested on Friday, April 12, for allegedly having a sexual relationship with an underage student.
According to reports from AL.com, Bates — who was teaching at Madison County High School — was arrested by Alabama authorities on Friday, April 12.
Following her arrest, Bates was taken to the Madison County Jail and was officially charged with engaging in a sex act with a student younger than 19, which is a felony offense in the state of Alabama.
Additionally, Bates was charged with a school employee distributing obscene material to a student and a school employee having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19.
Bates, who has since resigned from her teaching position at Madison County High School, was being held on a $32,000 bond. Police say because the victim is a juvenile, their identity will not be disclosed.
Matt Massey, the Madison County Superintendent, said in a statement that the school district is “fully cooperating with law enforcement. ”
“Our system fully condemns such actions and we are also offering counseling for our students,” Massey’s statement read in part.
Furthermore, Bates is the daughter-in-law of Stacy Bates, who is the chief deputy of the Madison County sheriff’s office, which investigated Bates’ alleged crimes.
Bates is just one of many education officials to be arrested and charged for sex-related crimes in recent years.
Since the beginning of 2019 alone, a handful of teachers have been arrested on similar charges, including Beulah High School teacher Kelsie Schmidt in North Dakota, Rancocas Valley Regional High School teacher Alexandra Reiner in New Jersey, and 50-year-old Florida substitute teacher Angela Jean Stanton in Florida. Additionally, Texas teachers Meredith Null and Edna Longoria were arrested on similar charges.
As for why there has been an increase in teacher’s being charged with sex-related crimes over recent years, studies suggest that smartphones are the primary reason for the spike in illicit relationships, as it allows teachers to communicate with the minors without supervision.
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.
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