Brianna Nicole Stanley, 23, was arrested on Friday, November 30, for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old student at Carver Middle School in Laurinburg, North Carolina.
According to Lt. Jessica Sadonikov, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office’s criminal investigative division executed a search warrant of Sadonikov after the Board of Education of Scotland County received a report on Thursday, November 29, that the middle school teacher was in an inappropriate relationship with a young student.
Following her arrest, Stanley was charged with three counts of felony statutory offense, five counts of felony indecent liberties by a teacher with a student, five counts of sexual activity by a teacher with a student and one count of third-degree felony child exploitation related to child pornography.
Stanley, who had her bond was set at $2.5 million, reportedly appeared in court on Monday, December 3.
“The school system is devastated by the allegations of this serious breach of trust by an employee,” schools spokesperson Meredith Bounds said in a statement, according to the Laurinburg Exchange. “Our focus now is on supporting our students and supporting law enforcement in their investigation.”
As for why there has been such a significant increase in instances of teachers having sexual relationships with students, researchers believe that technology is to blame.
According to a report from the Texas Education Association, smartphones make easy for teachers to privately text and talk with students and also make it possible for teachers and students to share explicit images.
SESAME (Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation) President Terri Miller echoed that sentiment, stating “before cell phones, we knew who our kids were talking to” but today, “kids have their own phones, they’re taking them to bed, and parents need to watch more.”
Stanley has been one of many teachers to be charged for inappropriate conduct. Over the course of just a few months, teachers across the United States have been charged, tried, and convicted of various abuse and sex crimes.
The list goes on to include 22-year-old Oklahoma science teacher Hunter Day, 28-year-old teacher Megan Kotarski, 23-year-old history teacher Michelle Schiffer, 29-year-old Alyssia Marie Reddy, special education teacher Jordan Ondish and 28-year-old Samantha Fitzpatrick have all been allegedly carrying on inappropriate relationships with their students.