Stephen Kirsch, a 31-year-old high school math teacher in Virginia, has been arrested for soliciting sex from a student, according to a report from WUSA-9. Kirsch is accused of asking one of his students for “sexy pictures” and also acting inappropriately during their conversations.
The student reported Kirsch, who had been a teacher at Culpeper High School for six years, to school administrators after the explicit exchange. The school administrators then contacted local police.
Kirsch was charged with using a communications system for the purposes of soliciting a person under 18 with lascivious intent.
“We’re very thankful that the victim quickly contacted school authorities to report the incident,” Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins said. “There may have been other similar incidents involving this suspect and we hope that those persons will feel comfortable coming forward to be heard. Thank you again to the victim for your courage and to our school administrators for your continued good work.”
Kirsch has since been released on a $5,000 bond.
Accuser reported incident to school authorities.
31yo Stephen Kirsch was a Math teacher at Culpeper HS for 6-years.
— Tim Barber (@ABC7TimBarber) May 28, 2020
Over the course of the past year 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.