Teacher resigns after student allegedly moves in

January 12, 2012 3:18:32 PM PST
A Hoffman Estates high school teacher has resigned after officials learned she was allegedly living with a student. Police are investigating their relationship.

The 36-year-old math teacher was allegedly living with the male student, who is under 18, in a Hoffman Estates apartment building. The unidentified woman has not been accused of a crime, but Hoffman Estate police confirm they are investigating the case, releasing a statement, "The Hoffman Estates Police Department is currently investigating a report of an alleged inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student. The investigation is ongoing."

In school district documents obtained by ABC7, administrators say they suspended the teacher without pay, removed her from the classroom and contacted police and child welfare authorities the morning after a school social worker last September informed them of the alleged living arrangement. Weeks after being suspended, the teacher submitted her resignation.

On Wednesday, the teachers union said it supports the district's actions.

"We have a strong tradition of supporting excellence in teaching and when, there are issues of concern, look to work with the district administration to address those situations in a manner that maintains the integrity of our profession and best ensures the safety and well-being of our students," said Jason Spoor, president, District 211 Teachers Union.

DCFS says an investigation of the teacher "indicated or substantiated abuse and neglect."

The documents allege the relationship began with tutoring but soon led to meals at restaurants and other social activities. The teacher told school officials she suggested the boy live with her after learning from his mother that they might be moving. The teacher also allegedly gave the student spending money. When asked, the boy told others he was staying with a godmother.

There was no answer at the teacher's residence Wednesday.

District 211 superintendent Nancy Robb told ABC7, "We took immediate and definitive actions in order to protect the safety and welfare of our students. It's an unfortunate situation that this teacher committed a grievous violation."

But some are defending the teacher.

"People are blowing things way out of proportion. If you knew the woman, you'd understand she's a sweet lady," said a Hoffman Estates senior who did not want to be identified. She says she knows the teacher from after school activities. "I personally think that she had the best intentions. She wasn't trying to do anything creepy or anything, like she was just trying to help a student finish high school."