Shelby Co. Sheriff's Office: Teacher had improper relationship with student

Shelby Co. Sheriff's Office: Teacher had improper relationship with student

SHELBY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office arrested a 36-year-old Shelbyville ISD teacher in connection to allegations that she had an improper sexual relationship with a male high school student.

Johanna Vickers, of San Augustine, was booked into the Shelby County Jail on two second-degree felony charges - improper sexual relationship between an educator and student and sexual assault of a child. She posted a collective bail amount of $50,000 and was released from jail Thursday night.

According to a press release, an employee with Shelbyville ISD made the initial outcry to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. District officials cooperated fully with the investigation, according to the press release.

"Shelbyville ISD received phone calls on Friday, May 8, 2015, complaining about possible misconduct by a teacher at Shelbyville High School," SISD Superintendent Ray West said in a press release. "After meeting with the teacher on Monday, the district initiated an internal investigation. Very early in the investigation, Shelbyville ISD contacted local law enforcement to oversee the investigation since the case included the possibility of wrongdoing by a school district employee."

West said in his statement that Vickers resigned from Shelbyville ISD on Wednesday, citing "personal reasons." He added that she did not admit to any wrongdoing "related to the investigation involving her and a Shelbyville High School student."

In addition, West said because of the serious nature of the allegations against Vickers, Shelbyville ISD will be contacting the state to look into the possibility of revoking Vickers' teaching credentials.

According to the arrest affidavit, the Shelbyville ISD school resource officer met with a SCSO deputy at the sheriff's office on May 12. The resource officer told the deputy that he was investigating allegations of a teacher having an improper relationship with a student. After being given consent to search the student's cell phone, the law enforcement officers used the Cellebrite UFED system to recover possible deleted messages from the phone.

The resource officer told the deputy that Vicker's phone number was saved on the alleged victim's phone under the name "Sister," the affidavit stated.

Two days later, the deputy reviewed the data retrieved from the student's phone. He discovered that text messages between Vickers and the alleged victim indicated that the two were in a romantic relationship, the affidavit stated. Vickers and the student frequently messaged each other, "I love you," according to the affidavit.

Later on May 14, the deputy interviewed the alleged victim, who admitted that he had been having a sexual relationship with Vickers, the affidavit stated. The student allegedly told the deputy that he and Vickers had sexual encounters on two separate occasions at the end of March or in early April.

The Shelbyville ISD superintendent stressed that people need to consider the friends and family members of the people involved in this ongoing investigation.

"It is a sad day for all of us when anyone does not live up to high standards we all expect from educators," West said in his statement. "Nonetheless, Shelbyville ISD's faculty and staff remain unyielding in our commitment to provide a safe and positive learning environment for our children."

Corrigan-Camden ISD Superintendent Sherry Hughes said that Vickers taught in that district from August 2002 to June of 2011. Hughes, who said that she wasn't superintendent when Vickers taught at Corrigan-Camden ISD, said that Vickers resigned by not turning in her contract.

Hughes said she didn't know if there was any kind of investigation before Vickers resigned.

In the press release, Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell thanked the Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center, which used a grant to local law enforcement to buy and donate a piece of equipment that played a key role in the investigation.

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