A 28-year-old teacher at an Alabama high school is accused of engaging in a sexual act with a 17-year-old student, police say.
Stephanie Pruett, who is married and is the mother of a young child, teaches “Bible-as-literature” at Weaver High School in Calhoun County. She was arrested Thursday after the sheriff’s office received a tip about her alleged conduct, Sheriff Matthew Wade told Al.com.
Pruett has been placed on leave with pay, the newspaper reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Pruett, Who Police Say Has Been ‘Sexually Involved’ With the 17-Year-Old Student Since October 2017, Faces Up to 20 Years in Prison
Stephanie Pruett faces up to 20 years in prison and could be required to register as a sex offender if found guilty of the felony charge of engaging in a sexual act with a student, according to Alabama law.
According to the Anniston Star, two students reported Pruett to authorities.
“We got information today that a teacher and a student were having a relationship,” Sheriff Matthew Wade told the newspaper. “We spoke to both the teacher and the student and each gave facts that led to her arrest.”
Pruett and the student had been “engaged in a relationship” since October 2017, Wade told the Star.
“It doesn’t matter if this was consensual,” the sheriff told the newspaper. “Under the law it’s illegal.”
Wade told Al.com, “It’s sad that a woman who has a family and went to college to become an educator is giving that all up. I just don’t understand why she went down that path. It’s very disturbing and troubling.”
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2. She Is in Her First Year Teaching at the School & Was Recently Featured in a Local Newspaper Story About Teaching the Bible in Alabama Public Schools
Pruett is in first year teaching at Weaver High School, according to the school’s website.
“This year, I will be teaching U.S. History 10 and U.S. History 11 as well as Bible as Literature,” she wrote.
Pruett was recently featured in a story in the Anniston Star about an effort to bring the Bible into public school classrooms in Alabama.
“Pruett teaches a class on the Bible as literature to 30 high school students who chose the course as an elective. The fall semester was devoted to the Old Testament,” the newspaper wrote.
Pruett told the newspaper she isn’t scared to teacher the course, but said she handles it with care.
“I’m specific about the fact that we’re looking at this from a literary standpoint,” she told the newspaper in January.
Pruett has been placed on leave with pay, Randy Reaves, director of safety for Calhoun County Schools, told the Anniston Star.
“That’s standard operating procedure for us,” he told the newspaper. Pruett will remain on leave until the county school board takes further action, he said.
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3. Pruett Graduated From …read more