Andrew Cavanaugh, a high school principal from Maine, is being sued by a former student. According to a lawsuit, Cavanaugh exchanged 5,000 text messages with a then-16-year-old student at Medomak Valley High School before eventually buying her a car.
The woman is now 19-years-old.
Cavanaugh also asked the student about her sexual activity and was asking for pictures of her in her prom dress, according to the Bangor Daily News.
A social worker at the school, Chuck Nguyen, was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit for allegedly failing to report the allegations to proper authorities. Nguyen reportedly told the student that Cavanaugh was trying to be a “father figure.”
The lawsuit also outlined inappropriate text messages:
“It would be [hard] for you to not look sexy, but I get the point. Send me a picture and I will tell you straight up how you look.”
“I might have to give you a spanking. I bet if I slapped you a couple time you would be mine forever!”
In one message from October 2017, Andrew Cavanaugh allegedly wrote the teen: “I might have to give you a spanking.” https://t.co/s2Pr2CLPgc
— Joshua Rhett Miller (@joshuarhett) December 31, 2019
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.
That is all the information that is available at this time. This article will be updated with new and relevant information should it become available at any time. If there is anything that we missed, please feel free to send an email to [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible.