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Teacher gets 90 days in jail for sex with student on his 16th birthday

In February, charges were levied against 27-year-old Nebraska teacher Emily Lofing after she was accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student. Lofing, who is married, faced a misdemeanor charge of debauching a minor and on Monday was sentenced to 90 days in jail. According to WOWT, she could be released in 53 days on good behavior.

>> Watch the news report here

>> Teacher's aide accused of sex with 14-year-old student, offering sex to another boy

In Nebraska, the age of consent is 16, and Lofing reportedly had sex with the student on his 16th birthday. Her attorney said the incident was the result of a mental breakdown. The judge said, “You were less than 24 hours from a felony here.” WOWT reports that Lofing will be on probation for two years after she is released; she pleaded no contest.

>> Read more trending news

The mother of the student reportedly wrote an email to the Weeping Water School District, where Lofing formerly taught, saying she believed there may have been a sexual relationship between her son and the teacher. Lofing, a language arts teacher, moved to the Nebraska City School District, where she completed just over half the 2016-2017 school year. Lofing resigned in February after the allegations came to light. According to the Omaha World-Herald, Lofing met the student for sex in July, and when officials at Nebraska City discovered the allegations, she was placed on administrative leave.

Teacher's aide accused of sex with 14-year-old student, offering sex to another boy

A former Colorado teacher’s aide, who has been accused of having inappropriate relationships with two students, reportedly waived her right to a preliminary hearing Monday in an effort to keep negotiations with the district attorney’s office open.

>> Catholic school teacher gets prison time for sexually assaulting 2 female students

According to the Greeley Tribune, Jerica Enriquez, 24, is facing charges in two separate cases involving underage, male students. In one case, she has been charged with sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and obscenity to a minor. In the other, she faces a charge of enticement of a child. The charges stem from her time working at Prairie Heights Middle School and Jefferson Junior High School in 2015 and 2016.

>> Teacher sentenced for sex with student claims victim lured her like 'used car salesman'

In 2015, Enriquez allegedly kissed a student in a classroom and offered to have sex with him, the Tribune reported. The boy reportedly told police and admitted to prosecutors that she also sent him a picture of herself wearing only a bra and underwear and a picture of herself naked. According to the boy, they never had sex.

>> Teacher accused of sexually assaulting special-education student appears in court

However, authorities said Enriquez did have sex with a 14-year-old student in fall 2016, the Tribune reported. Police also said she sent a nude photo of herself to the student, as well as a picture of a negative pregnancy test.

>> Read more trending news

Enriquez has not yet entered a plea in either case. Her attorney indicated that she wishes to continue to negotiate a possible plea with prosecutors.

Teacher sentenced for sex with student claims victim lured her like 'used car salesman'

Therese Gunn admitted Friday that she’d had a sexual relationship with one of her students. The 54-year-old, now-former orchestra teacher in Gwinnett County, Georgia, said she couldn’t believe she’d done it, and that she’d made a poor decision, and that she was sorry.

>> Watch the news report here

She then changed course, however briefly, and blamed her victim – claiming the then-17-year-old boy had coerced her into the relationship that developed at South Gwinnett High School.

>> Teacher accused of sexually assaulting special-education student appears in court

“He did,” Gunn said in front of Judge Warren Davis. “He was like a used car salesman.”

Davis didn’t care for that argument, nor did prosecutor Karen West. And after Gunn entered her guilty plea to a single count of sexual assault by a person with supervisory authority, the judge sentenced her to serve 90 days in prison.

>> Teacher accused of sex with 4 students, including 2 at same time, now faces 21 charges

The remainder of her 10-year sentence will be spent on probation.

“I don’t find that you're the kind of person that needs to be warehoused for years,” Davis said. “We get those cases and we get them out of society as long as we can. You're not one of those. But you clearly betrayed the trust that you had of parents, this parent, putting this child in your care.”

>> Teacher allegedly had sex with 4 students, including 2 at same time

Gunn, who worked as a teacher for 25 years and had been at South Gwinnett since 2002, was arrested in May 2016. At the time, police said she had held a relationship with the student, whom she taught for three years, for several months. Sexual activity allegedly "occurred at the school, at the teacher's [Loganville-area] residence and at Lenora Park.”

The relationship came to light after the student's mother found his journal and reported the relationship to police. 

>> Teacher accused of sexual contact with 3 students

Under Georgia law, sexual contact between anyone with supervisory or disciplinary authority – such as a law enforcement officer, teacher or psychiatrist – and a person under their care is illegal, even if it’s consensual.

Gunn was the fourth Gwinnett teacher arrested on sex-related charges during the 2015-16 school year. Since then, three more Gwinnett County Public Schools teachers have arrested on similar charges, including former University of Georgia football player Mikey Henderson.

>> Teacher accused of improper relationship with student smiles in mugshot

Another teacher who worked at the private Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn was also arrested earlier this year.

In their initial press release regarding Gunn’s case, Gwinnett County police said they had "discovered that the teacher hosted a party at her home in Grayson.”

“During the party, the teacher allowed the 17-year-old and two other female students to smoke marijuana under her direct supervision,” police wrote. “According to the detective, the teacher smoked marijuana, as well."

>> Read more trending news

Gunn was initially charged with multiple counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but was not indicted on those charges.

The victim that Gunn admitted to having sexual encounters with briefly spoke in court Friday afternoon. He said Gunn “made [his] adolescence hell.”

Catholic school teacher gets prison time for sexually assaulting 2 female students

A Pennsylvania teacher has been sentenced to prison time for sexually assaulting two female students.

>> Watch a video of Zurenko heading to prison

According to WPMT, Randi Zurenko, 33, of Millerstown, had sexual relations with two female students while teaching at Bishop McDevitt High School, a private Catholic school in Harrisburg. One of the relationships lasted from January 2013 to October 2016, while the other relationship began in early 2015 and also ended in October 2016, WPMT reported.

>> Georgia teacher sentenced for sex with student claims victim lured her like 'used car salesman'

Zurenko – who faced numerous charges, including institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and possession of child pornography – was sentenced Thursday to 11 1/2 to 23 months in the Dauphin County Prison, WPMT reported.

The 2 1/2-hour hearing brought heartfelt testimonies from the parents of the victims and the victims themselves. According to PennLive, one of the victims said Zurenko “slowly shattered every belief I held.” A father of one of the students said, “You deserve no grace, no chance at rehabilitation. You deserve no success.”

>> Teacher accused of sexually assaulting special-education student appears in court

The former teacher, a mother of five, asked for leniency in light of her young children. In his sentencing, the judge declared, “Your conduct can only be described as incomprehensible. ... You became a villain.” 

Investigators said Zurenko gave the victims alcohol, and one of the victims said in court that the situation threw her into a depression and that she even contemplated suicide, PennLive reported.

>> Read more trending news

Zurenko’s lawyer said the former teacher is “a good woman who was truly in love with her victims.” He claimed she "is not somebody who took advantage of somebody else. She had real feelings for this person.” He also asked that the judge consider house arrest.

After serving her sentence, Zurenko will spend four years on probation and will have to complete 500 hours of community service.

Florida elementary schools eliminates homework for students

When children return to elementary school next month, they won’t have to worry about homework, Marion County School District officials said.

Superintendent Heidi Maier announced the decision Wednesday night to teachers at the 321 elementary schools in the district.

>> Read more trending news

“It’s actually a district decision to not have what we call ‘everyday homework’ at the elementary level. Studies show that homework isn't really meaningful to that child's education process, at that grade level,” Kevin Christian, with the Marion County School District, said.

Instead of homework, Maier has asked parents to read with their children for 20 minutes every evening.

“That’s why we went to the library today. (We) picked out some books, read some things, learned something new,” parent Melvin McCray said.

Officials said once the new measure goes into effect in August, students could occasionally have to bring their work home with them.

“It’s not a 100 percent absolute. We are just talking about the everyday homework assignment that a lot of people feel is just homework for the sake of homework,” Christian said.

Teacher accused of sexually assaulting special-education student appears in court

A former teacher who reportedly has confessed to having sex with one of her students “a handful of times” between December 2016 and April 2017 appeared in a Bridgeport, Connecticut, court Tuesday to be arraigned on charges of sexual assault.

>> Watch the news report here

According to the New Haven Register, 31-year-old Laura Ramos, a married mother of a young child, was a special-education teacher at Central High School but resigned after she was arrested.

Ramos' husband went to the courthouse with his wife, sat with her before her name was called and then left with her, the Register reported.

Police said Ramos' illicit relationship with an 18-year-old student began over text and turned physical in the back of her car, according to the arrest warrant.

>> Teacher accused of sex with 4 students, including 2 at same time, now faces 21 charges

A witness who texted with the teacher said, “Ms. Ramos would complain that her ‘man’ or ‘guy’ does not want to have sex or do anything with her," police said.

It’s not clear if this was referring to the husband or the student.

“Witness 1 noticed the victim would hang out in Ms. Ramos’ class and ... would watch them make eyes at each other, like flirting,” police documents say.

>> Read more trending news

Authorities said Ramos initially denied that anything inappropriate took place, then admitted she talked with the 18-year-old student believed to have been involved. She later told investigators, “You’re not going to be happy with what you find on my phone," according to the documents.

Ramos has a plea hearing scheduled for July 25.

Teacher gets 3 years in prison after sex act with student caught on video

A former Maryland high school Spanish teacher who allegedly engaged in sex acts with a student has been sentenced to three years in prison.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Ekatherine Pappas, 25, pleaded guilty last month in a Baltimore court to three misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree sex offense, after the state dropped additional felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor, and was sentenced on Monday. Authorities said they discovered a video, which features a 16-year-old male student, in January and announced a warrant for her arrest. She bought a plane ticket to Colombia and left the country that very day, authorities said.

>> Teacher accused of sex with 4 students, including 2 at same time, now faces 21 charges

Also that same day, police interviewed the victim, who reportedly said Pappas asked him to leave school grounds during school hours on two occasions in December. Both times, she allegedly drove him to his home, where she had sexual relations with him. One incident was recorded on video, police said.

“I cannot begin to explain the terror of being notified that my son had been sexually abused, and it was on videotape that had been circulated throughout the school for others to see,” the victim’s father said in court, speaking of the moment a school resource office of Franklin High School became aware of the video and reported it to police.

>> Middle school substitute teacher accused of sexually assaulting student

The student, who has not been identified, has reportedly not returned to school, where Pappas had only worked for one month, since the investigation was launched, the Sun reported.

“As a young man, this entire ordeal has been extremely confusing for him, just as it would be for any victim that is exposed to sexual activity before they are at a level of maturity,” his father said in his statement to the court. “Our home is no longer viewed as a safe environment, since it is the location where the assault took place.”

>> Read more trending news

All but one year and one day of Pappas’ sentence was suspended, and she was taken into custody following her hearing. In addition to jail time, she has been mandated to undergo five years of “specialized and enhanced supervised probation for sexual offenders” following her release.

Read more here.

Poll: Most Republicans think colleges are bad for America

A majority of Republicans think that institutions of higher education are bad for America, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Monday.

>> Read more trending news

The poll, which surveyed 2,500 adults between June 8 and June 18, found that a majority of Americans, 55 percent, view colleges and universities as good for the country. However, a majority of Republican and Republican-leaning independents, 58 percent, said the institutions have a negative effect on the United States.

The findings mark a shift dramatic shift in Republicans’ views of higher education, according to Pew.

A 2015 survey found that 54 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have a positive view of colleges and universities. That fell to 43 percent in 2016.

In the survey released Monday, Pew researchers said only 36 percent of Republicans said colleges and universities had a positive effect on the country.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents took an opposite view of the issue, with 72 percent telling Pew researchers that colleges and universities had a positive effect on the country and 19 percent saying they did not.

District to take action against teacher who allegedly called black students 'rats'

Punishment could be coming for a Florida teacher accused of calling elementary school students "rats" that could "infest the class" and saying "that’s why their race is either dead or in jail."

The teacher at Carter G. Woodson Elementary School allegedly made the remarks in May, as a group of children attempted to re-enter her classroom.

Officials found enough evidence to substantiate further action, the district said this week.

Duval County Public Schools said it will "take appropriate action in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement when school resumes for the 2017-2018 school year."

>> Read more trending news

WJAX pressed to learn what, if any, specific punishment could be coming for the teacher, Jordan Cataldo. DCPS would not confirm the teacher's name. 

The school district confirmed that "There was enough evidence reviewed by the district that substantiates further action; however, we cannot elaborate on an action that has yet to be defined."

WJAX looked on the school district's website and found the progressive discipline policy in the collective bargaining agreement. It listed possible punishments, including verbal reprimand, written reprimand, suspension without pay and termination.

Carter G. Woodson parent Tiera Ross outlined Cataldo’s alleged comments back in May.

“They're only going to amount to be a bunch of ratchet Walmart workers, and also saying that that's why their race is either dead or in jail,” Ross said.

WJAX attempted to get Cataldo’s side of the story Friday, but she declined to comment.

Ross still wants Cataldo fired.

“I’m so infuriated inside that I want to cry, but I’m not,” Ross said. “I’m going to be strong enough for my daughter to make sure that the situation is taken care of.”

States sue DeVos for delaying student loan protections

Nearly 20 attorneys general across the nation filed suit Thursday against U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for her decision to delay the implementation of regulations meant to protect students who were cheated by predatory colleges.

>> Read more trending news

The lawsuit, headed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and joined by 17 other states and the District of Columbia, was filed in a federal court in D.C., The Associated Press reported. It demands that the Education Department implement rules that were finalized in October by the Obama administration and were scheduled to have gone into effect Saturday, according to The New York Times.

Implementation of the rules, known as “borrower defense,” was delayed in May by the Trump administration. Officials pointed to a legal challenge out of California, from a group that represents for-profit colleges, as reasoning for the delay, Politico reported. At the time, DeVos said the rules had created “a muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools” and that they would be rewritten.

The state attorneys general argued in their lawsuit that the California challenge was “mere pretext” used to justify changing rules that had already been agreed to and finalized.

Further, the lawsuit claims DeVos’ delay violates the Administrative Procedures Act, a federal statute that governs the way in which administrative agencies propose and establish regulations.

"Nearly two years of negotiations went into the formation of the borrower defense rule after the for-profit Corinthian College collapsed," Healey said Thursday morning in one of a series of tweets on the suit. "With no public input or deliberation, the Trump (Department) of Higher (Education) suddenly and unlawfully canceled this rule."

In a statement, Healey accused DeVos of siding with for-profit school executives “against studnts and families drowning in unaffordable student loans.”

“Her decision to cancel vital protections for students and taxpayers is a betrayal of her office’s responsibility,” Healey said.

A spokeswoman for DeVos declined to comment, telling Politico only that the education secretary is reviewing the suit.

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