Katherine Ross Ridenhour has been arrested, with North Carolina police saying the 23-year-old high school teacher and cheerleading coach had sex with one of her male students.
The allegations against Ridenhour came to light this week when police arrested the Cox Mill High School teacher, the New York Daily News reported. Authorities said Ridenhour carried on a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student.
Parents at the school said they were shocked about the allegations against Katherine Ross Ridenhour, and some were upset at the school for not properly vetting the teacher.
“I can’t even wrap my head around how disturbing it is, and why it keeps happening. How far do they go to a teacher’s background, are they going to make sure we’re not letting teachers inside our school with our child,” parent of Cox Mill High School student Kim Ouimet told WBTV.
Some students added that Ridenhour had a close relationship with students given her young age.
“Yeah we had a lot of things in common because she’s like 5 years older than us. I feel bad for her because she did one mistake and she messed up,” student Martin Higdon told WBTV.
The age of consent in North Carolina is 16, and authorities said the relationship between Katherine Ross Ridenhour and the male student was consensual. Police claim that they carried out an inappropriate relationship, with one of the incidents taking place at the school.
Ridenhour was listed as a family and consumer science teacher and was the varsity cheerleading coach.
Katherine Ross Ridenhour is not the only teacher to make headlines for allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a student. In Florida, a 30-year-old teacher named Jaclyn Truman was arrested for allegedly carrying on a two-month relationship with a 15-year-old female student, including having sex “multiple times.”
Truman had worked in the district for more than a decade, with the Orlando Sentinel reporting that she started working for Seminole County Public Schools in 2005 as an instructional assistant at Lyman High School. Truman was promoted to full-time teacher three years later but left in 2014 for a job as the coordinator for mentored and pastoral counseling at Asbury Theological Seminary.
She returned to the district in 2015 as a substitute teacher, which led Truman to come into contact with the 15-year-old victim.
As the New York Post reported, Truman had been placed on leave from her job at Lake Howell High School after officials from Child Protective Services contacted the school regarding the allegations.
Katherine Ross Ridenhour has been charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a student.
[Featured Image by Concord Police Department]