Ramsey Bearse, a 28-year-old former Miss America contestant and Miss Kentucky 2014, was arrested on Friday, December 7 in West Virginia after police say she allegedly sent nude photos to a 15-year-old teenage student.
According to the criminal complaint, Bearse — a science teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Cross Lanes, West Virginia — sent illicit photos to a 15-year-old male teenage student through Snapchat.
Authorities were made aware of the allegations after a parent of the unidentified victim found pictures of Bearse on the teen’s cell phone. Bearse reportedly admitted to sending the photos.
As a result, Bearse has been charged with four felony counts of distributing or displaying obscene matter to a minor.
While Briana Warner, the Kanawha County Schools Communications Director, declined to comment on Bearse’s arrest, she confirmed that Bearse was previously a teacher at the school.
“We cannot comment on personnel matters, but we will follow all applicable policies and procedures. The safety and security of our students is our top priority,” Warner said in a statement.
Following her arrest, Bearse was suspended from her position at Andrew Jackson Middle School. She was released on a $10,000 property bond following her arraignment.
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.
Most recently, teachers such as 29-year-old Haylie Smart, 25-year-old Alaina Ferguson, 26-year-old Amy Nowaczyk, and 32-year-old Laura Bucy were arrested and charged for similar crimes.