A married Lockhart High School teacher in Lockhart, Texas was arrested Monday afternoon for allegedly having an improper relationship with a 17-year-old male student, KXAN reports.
Administrators at Lockhart High School made a police report on Friday, March 10–just before spring bring break—after learning that 27-year-old Sarah Madden Fowlkes, a high school science teacher, was allegedly having an improper relationship with one of her students.
It was brought to an LHS employee’s attention that the teacher, Fowlkes, not only exchanged messages with the student, but she purportedly engaged in “sexual content with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire.”
When the LHS teacher learned that a warrant was out for her arrest for having an inappropriate student-teacher relationship, she turned herself in hours after celebrating her birthday with her husband at a restaurant, according to Fowlkes Facebook, which has since been deactivated and her Instagram page has been set to private.
Fowlkes, who married in 2013, was arrested and booked into the Caldwell County Jail. She bonded herself out the same day.
The Lockhart teacher was suspended following her arrest and allegations about having sexual contact with a student.
“As soon as we learned of the report, we acted swiftly to involve law enforcement and CPS to conduct a thorough investigation,” said Superintendent Susan Boh. “The district does not and will not tolerate any improper communication or contact between a teacher and child.”
In an email, the Superintendent notified Lockhart High School parents of the teacher’s arrest and suspension. The email read, “Lockhart parents entrust their children to us every day, and it is something we do not take lightly. Student safety is the district’s most important priority.”
Officers with the Lockhart Police Department stated that this is the first time they’ve had to investigate an inappropriate student-teacher relationship.
“Seventeen years old is obviously older but at the same time, it doesn’t make anything right,” Detective Jesse Bell stated. “If the kid is in school, parents trust the school to take care of their kids so it’s definitely not right — that a teacher in a position of power over a student, be able to take advantage of a student.”
Former Lockhart High School students were shocked by the inappropriate student-teacher relationship allegations. River Morgan, a 2016 graduate, stated that she was shocked, “especially since I used to go here. I think maybe there’s not as much of a distance as there should be. It should be much more professional.”
“I just feel like the teacher should know better than to do that,” said Joe Chapa, another 2016 LHS graduate.
According to the Lockhart High School website, Fowlkes obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Saint Edward’s University and had been with the Lockhart Independent School District since October 2014.
In Fowlkes’ bio on LHS web page, which was taken down after the Texas teacher was arrested, she wrote, “This is my third year as a teacher, my previous two years were spent at Plum Creek Elementary, where I was a third and fifth-grade science and social studies teacher.”
“I have very high expectations of myself as a teacher, as well as of my students, and I hope that this will be a formula for achievement. I want this to be an enjoyable year for all of my students but also a productive, challenging and encouraging year with success for everyone.”
Counselors will be provided for Lockhart High School students if “they need someone to talk to.” If LHS parents have any questions or concerns, detectives urge you to call the Lockhart Police Department at 512-398-4401.
[Featured Image by Lockhart Police Department]