Candace McCray has been identified as the 37-year-old Montgomery, Alabama teacher who is scheduled to stand trial for reportedly having sex with a student.
According to reports, McCray, 37, has been charged with school employee having sex with a student under the age of 19. The charge is a felony crime.
Court records indicate that McCray allegedly had sex with a former student at an undisclosed location between January and February 2018. McCray was arrested back on February 16, 2018, and indicted shortly after.
However, despite her arrest, McCray remains employed by the school district, who would not say whether she’s on leave or still being paid. Additionally, the school district says that McCray was hired as a teacher at Brewbaker Middle School in 2014.
The Alabama State Department of Education is also involved in this case and has proposed revoking and non-renewing McCray’s teaching certificate.
McCray was served with a letter from ALSDE in May outlining the allegations against her and the proposed action. McCray does have due process rights, and can request a hearing. It’s unclear what action has been taken.
Her certificate is flagged in the state’s database citing, “Individual has been given notice of proposed adverse action up to and including the revocation of certification or licensure.”
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.”
McCray 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.