Sarah Fowlkes Lockhart Police Department
This week’s married high school biology teacher busted for allegedly traumatizing a 17-year-old male student with some unspecified gob of sexual contact is Sarah Madden Fowlkes.
Fowlkes, 27, taught — until just recently — at Lockhart High School in Lockhart, Texas, reports the Hays Free Press, an area newspaper.
On Monday, Fowlkes turned herself in at the local police station. She was then charged with having an improper relationship with a student — a second-degree felony.
The Lockhart police department alleges that Fowlkes “engaged in sexual contact” with the 17-year-old male student enrolled at Lockhart High, according to Austin NBC affiliate KXAN-TV.
Local cops also said that the teacher had “the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the student,” according to the Hays Free Press.
Fowlkes and the student exchanged messages via an undisclosed medium, police say.
Police began investigating the possibility of a relationship between Fowlkes and the student on March 10 after receiving a tip from a school administrator.
The allegations that Fowlkes traumatized a 17-year-old male student with sexual contact mark the first time police in Lockhart have investigated an improper teacher-student relationship.
“Seventeen years old is obviously older but at the same time it doesn’t make anything right,” Lockhart police detective Jesse Bell told KXAN-TV. “If the kid is in school, parents trust the school to take care of their kids so it’s definitely not right — that a teacher in a position of power over a student be able to take advantage of a student.”
The Lockhart Independent School District has made counselors available in case any students need therapy after hearing that a 17-year-old student allegedly had sexual contact with Fowlkes.
According to a now-removed Lockhart High webpage, Fowlkes taught anatomy, physiology and environmental systems at the school. Previously, she had been a teacher at Plum Creek Elementary School in the Lockhart school district. She began working for the district since October 2014. She is a native of Dripping Springs, Texas.
School district officials have suspended Fowlkes. Typically, such suspensions are paid, at least initially.
Lockhart Independent School District superintendent Susan K. Bohn issued a letter assuring parents that “student safety is the district’s most important priority” and that district officials “acted swiftly to involve law enforcement,” according to the Hays Free Press.
Fowlkes has been married since October 2013, according to accounts of her Facebook page. She and her husband have lived in New Braunfels, Texas.
Police released Fowlkes on the same day she was arrested after she satisfied bond requirements.
Lockhart, Texas is roughly 35 miles southeast of Austin.