Ga. teacher facing sexual assault charge for having relations with three students
(WCTV.TV) VALDOSTA, Ga. – Parents have been nervously waiting for the identity of a Lowndes High School teacher to be revealed since we first broke this story last Thursday.
The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office says teacher Phoebe Jo Chapman surrendered herself to the Lowndes County jail this morning. Chapman was booked on three counts of sexual assault – one count for each confirmed victim.
The Sheriff’s Office says they began investigating Chapman after rumors began circulating around the school. The Sheriff’s Office didn’t know if all three students have already graduated, but says they do know that the incidents occurred while the students were at school.
“By statute, any time a teacher is involved in a sexual relationship with a student, it’s illegal. They cannot be involved.
Those teachers are put in a position of trust, just like law enforcement. When you’re put in that position of trust, you’re held to a higher standard and you’re expected to make decisions that are comparable with the position that you’re in,” says Lt. Stryde Jones of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.
Lt. Jones says this is an ongoing investigation and additional victims may be identified.
“I don’t think other teachers knew. We have found nothing so far to indicate that anybody at the school in a position of leadership or an employee knew what was going on. There may have been other students that knew what was going on but they had not made anything public other than maybe to themselves,” says Lt. Jones.
Because of the sensitive nature of this investigation, Lt. Jones says all interviews are being done outside of the school. The school system says they have received Chapman’s letter of resignation and she has not been on school property since the investigation began.