A 37-year-old English teacher has been charged with sexual misconduct after she allegedly had a year long relationship with an 18-year-old student.
Lindsay Norwood, who was 35 at the time of the alleged relationship, resigned from her post at Mark Morris High School on May 18, Q13 reported. She was married and has three kids.
The relationship reportedly began with flirting, before the pair exchanged text messages and then met up outside of school for sex in 2013 and 2014, the Daily Mail reported.
Although the student was 18 at the time, prosecutors can still charge Norwood because she allegedly had sex with a student at a school where she worked and was not married to him.
County Prosecutor Ryan Jurvakainen told the Longview Daily News that if Norwood is convicted of two counts of first degree sexual misconduct, her punishment could be up to 14 months in jail. She was officially charged with the two felony charges on Friday.
Sandy Catt, spokeswoman for the school district where Norwood taught, noted that help exists for teachers who develop feelings for students.
“The district also offers an Employee Assistance Program at no cost to staff members who have any need for professional mental health support,” said Catt in a statement, reported by Daily Mail.
“In addition, schools provide various trusted adults with whom students and/or their parents can confide and work with for safe and healthy learning environments,” she added.
The student, who is now 20 and remained anonymous, did not report the relationship until he graduated from school, saying he did not want to break up Norwood’s family.
He told police that he was falling in love with her, Daily Mail reported. He added that he met the teacher’s three children and that Norwood’s husband threatened him twice to stop seeing her.
Police became aware of the relationship on Jan. 7, when the student’s mother contacted them.
The student reportedly said that he felt guilty about the relationship and spent some time in the hospital due to suicidal thoughts. If he failed to do what Norwood wanted, he feared failing his course, he added.