Another Highlands teacher under investigation

Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 24, 2016

A Fourth teacher at the Highlands County School District is now on paid leave, under investigation for having an affair with a now former student.

Sheriff Susan Benton said the allegations about the Sebring High School teacher came in through an anonymous tip.

"The tip basically said that a high school male teacher was having an affair with a ninth grade female student," Benton said.

The female student has since moved out of state and investigators are trying to track her down to see if it's true.

The school district is being extra cautious on the heels of several salacious scandals involving students sexting and other teachers having inappropriate relationships with students.

Just two weeks ago, the sheriff's office warned administrators about the state law, explaining that they have to do a better job reporting suspected child abuse.

That meeting came on the heels of the Stacy Hooks investigation -- the teacher arrested for having sex with a 14-year-old student.

Documents show the school knew something was up with the two but didn't do enough to stop it.

An investigation is underway to determine if school officials violated the law.

"Frankly, they are working very hard to ensure that everyone is aware of reporting procedures, to be cautious to the point where they are even calling us to run something past us to see if it rises to the level of a required report," Benton said.

This latest accusation against another teacher has some parents beyond angry.

"The parents are furious," said Norma Jones, whose kids attended several schools in the district.

"Parents are going to start pulling their kids out of school and they're going to start homeschooling them because they don't know what's going to happen when they send them… it's disgusting."