Hayley Reneau is the latest woman to be arrested for inappropriate conduct with a student. According to the Journal Star, the 23-year-old served as a coach at Washington Community High School before being arrested on Monday, August 5 on a criminal sexual assault charge.
Reneau’s victim was reportedly between the age of 13 and 17.
According to Police Chief Mike McCoy, Reneau “held a position of trust, authority, or supervision in relation to the victim.”
She had worked as the freshman volleyball and girls basketball coach before resigning from her position. Prior to coaching, Reneau played college basketball for Eureka College and Illinois Central College.
WCHS superintendent Dr. Kyle Freeman released a statement on Reneau’s “inappropriate relationship with a student.”
“On August 5, 2019, Washington High School officials were notified by law enforcement officials that a former employee, Hayley Reneau, has been arrested for a crime relating to an inappropriate relationship with a student of the high school.
“Ms. Reneau resigned from employment with the High School on July 29, 2019. The Department of Children and Family Services has been made aware of the matter. The student’s family has been contacted and school officials have no reason to believe that any other students were affected. Ms. Reneau will not return to Washington High School.”
You voted, so we can officially declare Hayley Reneau the best senior in #D3WBB!
— HERO Sports WBB (@HEROSportsWBB) February 5, 2018
Since the beginning of 2019 alone, a handful of teachers have been arrested on similar charges, including 25-year-old substitute teacher Alexis Mercedes Boberg in Baltimore, 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 the number of these incidents has seemingly increased, 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.