La. School Dogged by Cases of Teacher-Student Sex

Latest incident in Destrehan is the 3rd case in 2 years
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2016 11:24 AM CST
La. School Dogged By Cases of Teacher-Student Sex
Former Destrehan High School teachers Rachel Respess, left, and Shelley Dufresne are accused of having group sex with a 16-year-old student.   (AP Photo/St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office)

A 26-year-old high school teacher in the small Mississippi River town of Destrehan, La., was booked into jail Thursday on charges that she had sex with a 16-year-old student. It marks the third instance of alleged teacher-student sex at the school in two years and the fourth in the last decade, leading the Times-Picayune to ask in a headline: "What's with Destrehan High?" "That's maybe a question for Dr. Phil," the local sheriff quips to the newspaper. In the latest case, Kimberly Naquin—daughter of the school board president—allegedly had sexual encounters with a female student at the teacher's residence and in a high school classroom between August 2014 and September 2015, WWL 4 reports. The same year that alleged affair began, the Times-Picayune notes, Louisiana had the third highest rate in the US of employees accused or convicted of inappropriate relationships with students, trailing only Alabama and Kentucky.

Two of those instances came to light in October 2014, when a pair of teachers at the high school—Rachel Respess, 24, and Shelley Dufresne, 32—were arrested on charges that they allegedly had a threesome with a 16-year-old male student. The age of consent in Louisiana is 17; however, state law prohibits relationships between teachers and students who are up to 20 years old. Both former teachers are being prosecuted, per the Times-Picayune, and Naquin is suspended without pay. Her bond was set Friday at $75,000. The Times-Picayune notes that teachers in the district take a course reviewing policies, including those for sexual misconduct, each year; high school teachers undergo additional training. And a senior tells the Times-Picayune that "it's just a few individuals making bad decisions." (It's not the only school with this kind of reputation.)

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