Teacher had sex with teenager while other students acted as lookouts, police say

The former educator was arrested in Texas on several felony counts

Michelle Del Rey
Thursday 11 January 2024 01:17 GMT
Missouri teacher faces rape charges

A Missouri schoolteacher has been arrested after she allegedly had sex with a 16-year-old student on campus grounds and used other pupils as “lookouts”.

Authorities say that Hailey Clifton-Carmack, who taught math at Laquey High School in Pulaski County, was arrested in Texas this week on felony charges of endangering the welfare of a child, statutory rape, sexual contact with a student and child molestation.

Her bond has been set at $250,000 as officials work out her extradition back to Missouri.

Officials were first alerted to the relationship by another student who had come forward to report it. The student involved in the relationship allegedly showed them photos of scratches on his back that he said came from interactions with Ms Clifton-Carmack.

The student described the teacher as being “too close with students”. According to court documents, the Superintendent of Laquey Schools, and the high school’s principal had known about the teacher’s behaviour before it was reported.

In December, officials obtained a search warrant to go through the teacher’s phone. An officer who served the warrant said Ms Clifton-Carmack “handed over her phone with no issues and did not have the normal behaviour of someone facing the same accusations.”

At the time, the woman denied engaging in inappropriate relationships with students.

Still, when officials obtained a warrant to go through the contents of the device, they said the teacher refused to give them her password at the advice of her attorney. Once officials broke through the electronic security system, they discovered a conversation between Ms Clifton-Carmack and the student in question discussing their relationship.

Just before the woman made her way to Texas to visit her family, the student’s father said that she’d been at his family’s home. He confirmed the sexual relationship to a witness, court documents state, and said that the teacher had used other students as “lookouts” while they had sex during school.

He told the witness: “They are going to do it behind my back so I may as well let it happen.”

The father allegedly also said he was willing to lie for his son if he had to. According to the Miami Herald, the father was arrested on January 3. He was arraigned on Monday 8 January and pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree child endangerment.

In a statement to the outlet, the school district said, “The employee has not been in the district since 8 December 2023 and we do not anticipate her return.”

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