Ashlyn Faye Bell, a 24-year-old teacher’s aide for the Texarkana Independent School District in Texas, is accused of having sex with multiple students. She is accused of sexual relations with a 16-year-old and two 17-year-old boys, according to the Texarkana Gazette.
She has been charged with two counts of improper relationship between educator and student.
Bell faces up to 20 years in prison for each count.
Per the report, Bell is accused of having sex with the students at her house on multiple occasions — including one where she had sex with the boy in her home after putting her child to bed.
From the report:
She first arranged to meet one of the 17-year-old students at a local truck stop during Thanksgiving break, then drove him to her home in New Boston, Texas, while her child was asleep in the car seat in the back of the car, and had sex with the teen after putting the child to bed. A second boy, also 17, told investigators he went Bell’s house for sex on several occasions, and that she would then drive him home. The 16-year-old victim told police he went to the then-teacher’s aide’s home following a high school football playoff game. He told investigators Bell drove him home at 5:15 a.m. and arranged to pick him up for sex again the following weekend.
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.