A Lockport High School teacher is suspended from his job following an accusation that he had an inappropriate relationship with a female student.
The teacher is being paid during his suspension while the school district and police department conduct their investigations into what happened. Police tell Eyewitness News that so far they've found no reason to file criminal charges. That may be because the student in question is believed to be 18-years-old and that's old enough to legally consent to an adult relationship.
Lockport High School students say the allegations are generating a lot of talk around school. "People are gossiping that he was doing stuff he shouldn't be doing with the students, breaking the trust between him and his job of guiding students," says Hannah Harris, a Lockport H.S. senior.
School Superintendent Terry Ann Carbone confirmed that the teacher is now suspended with pay because of the allegation of an inappropriate relationship. Any potential further disciplinary action will not happen until after the investigation is complete. "Our teachers at school and our guidance counselors are working with students who are upset about this issue and I always encourage parents to be the first and best counselors to their children," says Carbone.
The City of Lockport police department is believed to be looking at how long the alleged inappropriate relationship was going on. If the relationship started when the student was 16, or if there is evidence that the teacher was involved with other younger students, criminal charges could be warranted.
Students say they've already noticed some changes at school because of the allegations. "I hang around down in the tech wing and the office we hang out in, me and a bunch of other kids, we're restricted from that now just because of his one mistake," says Harris, "We have trust in our teachers and to lose that just punishes everybody."