Charli and James Parker, who were both teachers at Alabama’s Pickens Academy, were both arrested for having sex with their students.
New York Daily News reports Charli Parker was arrested on Monday night at approximately 11:45 p.m. According to reports, the female teacher had sexual relations with a male student in a cemetery. Two days later, her husband James was busted for allegedly having sex with a female student at an undisclosed location.
— Stephanie Taylor (@TNews_Steph) March 29, 2016
Authorities said 30-year-old Charli Parker, who is the head coach of the ladies basketball team, allegedly had sex with the unnamed male student at least 11 times between October 2014 and March 2016.
— Chelsea Barton (@ChelseaBarton_) March 31, 2016
Her husband, 32, who teaches math and doubles as a head coach for the boys basketball team, is also being criminally charged with having sexual relations with a minor.
Pickens Academy Headmaster Brach White released a statement confirming Charli and James Parker were suspended pending the outcome of their trials.
“The safety and wellbeing of our students is and always will be our top priority. We are obviously shocked and dismayed by this allegation and will be working to support all our students and families in coping with this news… Unfortunately, these events have been a distraction from the many great things that take place at Pickens Academy. I request continued prayers for our school family and all those involved.”
The state of Alabama has the highest rate of student-teacher sexual relations in America, a worrying statistic that has state lawmakers pushing a bill to reduce the disturbing incidents.
The proposed training modules would outline appropriate ways for teachers to interact with students inside and outside of the classroom. The training would also address student-teacher interactions via social media and cell phones.
Alabama Senator Cam Ward said it was a terribly disturbing trend that can no longer be ignored.
“An increasing number of incidents have been reported in recent years where educators have had inappropriate contact with students, both in person and though social media, and in the contexts of discipline and inappropriate relationships.”
Terry Abbott, former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Education, said more than 50 percent of the inappropriate student-teacher relationships were initiated on social media. He explained that it was rare for a teacher to arbitrarily make sexual advances toward a student.
“Social media interactions reveal a perv-educator’s true colors,” he said. He commended the bill, saying it is a decisive step towards curbing the overwhelming issue of teachers sleeping with students. Abbott said it is a serious problem in schools throughout the United States and it would be dangerous to simply ignore the situation.
In Pennsylvania, Erica Ann Ginnett, 33, reportedly approached a 17-year-old male student at a school dance and started to flirt. Huffington Post reports the married teacher, who has several children, then began exchanging lewd photos and text messages with the student. Days later, Erica had sexual relations with the student in her car.
In Florida, a 14-year-old boy wrote his cellphone number on the classroom blackboard, hoping the girl he was crushing on would give him a call. However, he was instead contacted by his teacher Irene Khan. According to reports, the student and his teacher ended up having sex multiple times between 2011 and 2012.
In 2014 alone, there were 781 reported cases of teachers having sex with their students. Male students made up two-thirds of the sexual misconduct cases. However, female teachers were more likely to use social media to groom students for sexual relationships.
Schools have been advised to come up with specific policies that address electronic communication. In the state of New Jersey, the school board association as a matter of policy prevents teachers from being friends with their students on social media — without written approval from a principal.
Washington Post reports any contact between teachers and students must also be initiated using telephones and computers within school premises.
Teachers throughout the United States are being arrested for having sexual relationships with their students. However, Charli and James Parker are unique as the married couple are both teachers, and they were both arrested for having sexual relationships with their students.
[Mugshot images via Sinclair Story Online]