A Lockhart, Texas, science teacher was arrested and suspended from her job after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student -- and then smiled in her mugshot.
Sarah Fowlkes turned herself in after reports surfaced that the 27-year-old had a relationship with a 17-year-old student. Superintendent Susan Bohn confirmed an investigation into the relationship in a statement to the Houston Chronicle.
"Lockhart parents entrust their children to us every day, and it is something we do not take lightly," the statement read. "Student safety is the district's most important priority. As soon as we learned of the report, we acted swiftly to involve law enforcement and CPS to conduct a thorough investigation. The district does not and will not tolerate any improper communication or contact between a teacher and child."
Lockhart police said they have never investigated a teacher for something like this before.
"Seventeen years old is obviously older but at the same time it doesn’t make anything right," Detective Jesse Bell told KXAN.
"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."
In her mugshot, Fowlkes -- who has been married to her husband for three years -- was seen smiling and showing no apparent remorse or emotion regarding the scandal.
On her profile on the school website, which has since been deleted, Fowlkes spoke to the responsibility she had to her students.
"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," she wrote. "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."
Many readers expressed their disgust over the situation, calling for the teacher to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
"Just as male predators join certain vocations such as the priesthood to be near children, these narcissistic women go into teaching in order to prey upon their students and indulge their fantasies. These people are dangerous deviants and should be treated as such," one Daily Mail reader commented.
"What a shame, she was so pretty i'm sure she didn't struggle for attention with adults but chose the wrong direction. Surely that's enough to look into the psychology behind these infatuations," another added.