Maren Nicole Oates, a 33-year-old former Washoe County School District teacher, pled guilty to engaging in sex with a student on Thursday, January 24.
According to Washoe District Court records, Oates, 33, entered a guilty plea after she was charged with engaging in sex with a student. The incident allegedly occurred when Oates was a teacher at the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology located in Reno, Nevada.
Oates, who was originally arrested on Thursday, May 17, 2018, is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Jerome Polaha on Tuesday, April 2.
The Washoe County School District released the following statement regarding Oates’ arrest:
Washoe County School Police are investigating allegations that a District employee engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a student. The employee in question has been placed on administrative leave.
The safety and security of our students and staff is our number-one priority. The District cannot discuss personnel issues.
As for why there has been such a significant increase in instances of teachers having inappropriate 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.”
Hoffman 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.