Kendall Burk, a 23-year-old science teacher from Grant County High School in Kentucky, has been arrested and charged for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old boy in her car over the school’s summer break. According to WLWT, Burk was charged with four counts of rape and sodomy.
The sexual encounters between Burk and the student reportedly took place between early June and July 3.
Burk, who graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in human health sciences and was in her second year with the school, was released after posting $25,000 bond. According to WCPO, she has since been placed on house arrest and is forbidden from contact with the alleged victim or any other minors.
Morgan has since been relieved of her duties.
“While these events, of course, sadden us, our first priority – and that of the law enforcement with whom we work – is and must always be the protection and safety of our students,” superintendent Matthew Morgan wrote in a letter to parents.
Since the beginning of 2019 alone, a handful of teachers have been arrested on similar charges, including 25-year-old substitute teacher Alexis Mercedes Boberg in Baltimore, Beulah High School teacher Kelsie Schmidt in North Dakota, Rancocas Valley Regional High School teacher Alexandra Reiner in New Jersey, and 50-year-old Florida substitute teacher Angela Jean Stanton in Florida. Additionally, Texas teachers Meredith Null and Edna Longoria were arrested on similar charges.
As for why the number of these incidents has seemingly increased, studies suggest that smartphones are the primary reason for the spike in illicit relationships, as it allows teachers to communicate with the minors without supervision.
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.