News

Actions

Teacher faces additonal child porn charges

Posted at 10:12 PM, Mar 03, 2016

It has been a difficult couple of weeks for parents and students in the Highlands County School District.

Last month, a sexting scandal broke at Lake Placid Middle School involving 20 girls who reportedly sent nude pictures and videos to classmates.  The sheriffs office is now investigating those so called “sexts” for possible child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor charges.

On Feb. 18, Gustat Middle School teacher Stacy Hooks was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student.

“I questioned him about it and the teacher,” Sharnesea Lindquist said.   

Lindquist said her son was chaperoned by Hooks during the same time period last November that inappropriate contact was made on a field trip.

“He didn’t witness it, and he actually had good things to say about her.  You just never know,” Lindquist said.  

The Highlands County school district is under investigation for failing to report possible child abuse, according to Highlands County sheriff's officials.

Sheriff's investigators are looking into what school officials knew about the behavior of teacher Stacy Hooks, and when they knew it.

Deputies arrested Hooks last week on charges of having sex with a 14-year-old student multiple times.

Action News has learned school officials at Hill-Gustat Middle School, where Hooks taught math, knew of inappropriate behavior dating back to November.

“There was precautions taken,” Lindquist said.  “But, I can say they weren't given to the right authorities at the right time.  If it was given to the right authorities, at the right time, I think we could've intervened quickly.”