Two North Alabama teachers accused of having sex with students saw the charges against them dropped this week, as Morgan County Judge Glenn Thompson ruled Alabama’s law barring any school employee from sexual contact with a student under the age of 19 to be unconstitutional.
It may not be the end for the charges. The prosecutor told reporters the state attorney general’s office has been contacted about handling an appeal of the ruling — the typical way an attack on the constitutionality of a state law proceeds.
Until there is an appeals court ruling, it could be up to individual judges to deal with cases in their courts.
In Etowah County, there are two pending cases involving teachers accused of violating Alabama’s law.
Andrea Means Ellliott was arrested in January 2016 after she resigned as a teacher at Southside High School. She was charged with violating Alabama’s law against school employee-student sexual contact. She allegedly had sex with a student in 2013.
Former Gaston teacher Kayla Lynn Hodges of Anniston was arrested in February 2016 on four misdemeanor counts, for having sexual contact with students. She was accused of sending sexual photos and text messages to four students. She, too, resigned from her job before her arrest.
Both cases still are pending in the court system.
Asking for comments on Facebook brought a general response of shock and dismay.
An educator with experience in Georgia and Alabama schools said while she didn’t know all the specifics of the two cases, there’s just no circumstances that make it OK for a school employee to have a sexual relationship with a student.
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