Christine Knudsen, a high school arts teacher in New Jersey, has been arrested and charged for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a student in 2018 and providing drugs.
The 44-year-old taught at Fair Lawn High School.
Knudsen has been charged with sexual assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
“We do not understand there to be any allegations of current misconduct,” Fair Lawn Schools Superintendent Nicholas Norcia said in a letter to parents, via NJ.com. “Law enforcement has made clear that it does not consider any current students at risk of harm, in any way.”
— New York Post (@nypost) September 21, 2021
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 it easy for teachers to privately text and talk with students and also make it possible for teachers and students to share explicit images.