Parents trust that when they send their kids to school, they will not only be provided with a supportive learning environment but will be surrounded by teachers and staff that have their best interests at heart too.
So when an Alabama high school hired a married mother of 1 who had made it her goal to make a difference in her students’ lives through a hands-on approach, they thought their students would be getting the best education possible. However, students’ parents have been left horrified since learning what her approach entailed…
At the start of the school year in September 2017, the faculty at Weaver High School in Calhoun County, Alabama announced that they would be welcoming a new teacher at the school who would be teaching history and a Bible as Literature class.
The teacher, 28-year-old Stephanie, is a native of Alabama and had attended Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. After Stephanie graduated in 2012 with a history degree, she went on to earn a master’s degree in secondary history education at the school…
While at Jacksonville State University, Stephanie worked in the Department of Academic Enhancement as an academic mentor for the athletic department. In 2015, Stephanie moved on to teach history at Oxford High School in Oxford, Alabama.
“I recently left my position within the Department of Academic Enhancement at Jacksonville State University where I mentored at-risk students and student-athletes, motivating them to strive to become successful inside and outside of the classroom,” Stephanie said in 2015…
Life Dedicated To Teaching
“My goal as an educator is to provide students with the opportunity to engage and learn inside and outside of the classroom,” Stephanie said about the reason she decided to dedicate her life to teaching and her hopes of impacting her students’ lives.
“Each and every student that walks into my classroom is a unique individual. This requires a differentiated approach to instruction, involving tools, techniques, technology, and hands-on experiences to reach each and every student where they are academically,” Stephanie said…
A New Position
When a position opened up at Weaver High School, Stephanie applied and was given the job as she seemed like she would be a perfect fit at the school. “This year, I will be teaching U.S. History 10 and U.S. History 11 as well as Bible as Literature,” Stephanie said about her new teaching position.
Loves Her Husband
“I enjoy spending time with my family, including my wonderful husband…my insanely sweet and intelligent son, and our three dogs, Madison, Quinn, and Bella,” Stephanie wrote in her bio on the school’s website. “I love the fall and traveling…”
Making A Difference
As the new school year started, Stephanie was determined to ‘make a difference’ in her students’ lives and hoped that her lessons in the classroom left the teenagers inspired. In particular, the 28-year-old was excited to teach the Bible as Literature elective class.
“I’m specific about the fact that we’re looking at this from a literary standpoint,” Stephanie explained. However, in 2018, members of the faculty at Weaver High School were contacted by police, who had some disturbing information about the teacher…
Breaking The Law
According to the police, 2 students from Weaver High School discovered something disturbing happening at their school and decided to contact the police at the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office. The students explained that a teacher at the school was breaking the law.
“We got information today that a teacher and a student were having a relationship,” said Sheriff Matthew Wade. The 2 students, whose identities have not been released, told police that a teacher was Stephanie Henry Pruett, the new teacher at the school…
Police immediately contacted the school about what had been reported, but when the faculty heard what Pruett was being accused of, they couldn’t believe it. So far, Pruett had been an exemplary teacher and seemed to be well-liked by her students.
A Loving Mother Too
Not only had Pruett appeared to be a dedicated teacher, but she always appeared to be a loving mother to her 4-year-old son and a devoted wife to her husband, Justin, who was her high school sweetheart. The pair had been married since October 2012…
Not Even Possible
The staff couldn’t understand how the woman they thought they knew could possibly have done what police were accusing her of. Yet when police sat down separately with Pruett and the student, they had enough to confirm the accusations.
“We spoke to both the teacher and the student and each gave facts that led to her arrest,” Sheriff Wade said. An investigation was officially opened and police found that Pruett had engaged in a sexual relationship with the student since October 2017…
Age Of Consent
Even though the age of consent in Alabama is 16, it’s illegal for a teacher to engage in a sexual relationship with a student. “It doesn’t matter if this was consensual,” Wade said. “Under the law it’s illegal.” Pruett was taken to the Calhoun County Jail and the district immediately placed her on paid leave until the school board takes further action. “That’s standard operating procedure for us,” said Randy Reaves, director of safety for Calhoun County Schools.
Wrong Is Wrong
“Wrong is wrong. She broke a trust. As a principal, I can’t say how disappointed I am that she crossed that line that no teacher should cross,” said Weaver High School Principal Michael Allison. After her arrest, Pruett was officially charged with engaging in a sexual act with a student…
If found guilty, Pruett could face 20 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender. “It’s sad that a woman who has a family and went to college to become an educator is giving that all up. I just don’t understand why she went down that path. It’s very disturbing and troubling,” Sheriff Wade said.
Pruett has since been released from jail on bail until her trial, but parents are still horrified by the news. ”Very revolting. It turns my stomach. With it being a female teacher there’s no difference. She’s still a predator in the same stance, she’s still a grown woman. She knew right from wrong. She knew it was wrong to hook up with a minor regardless,” said parent Amber Carroll.