- Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Why did a Texas teacher accused of having an improper relationship with a student smile in her mugshot? Her lawyer has offered an explanation.
According to Dallas-Fort Worth's KXAS, Jason Nassour, attorney for Lockhart High School anatomy teacher Sarah Fowlkes, said she was grinning because she's innocent.
"This isn't a guilty person sitting there like they just got caught," Nassour told KXAS. "When everything's fleshed out, it won't be as it appears."
Lockhart police began investigating the incident March 10 after a school administrator reported that "an educator at the school may be having an inappropriate relationship with a currently enrolled student," according to the arrest affidavit. A 17-year-old student claimed that Fowlkes, 27, touched his genitals and that he "made contact with the defendant's breasts," the affidavit said.
Fowlkes was arrested on a charge of "improper relationship between educator and student," police said. The school district also suspended Fowlkes, The Austin American-Statesman reported.
"Lockhart parents entrust their children to us every day, and it is something we do not take lightly," Lockhart Superintendent Susan Bohn said in a statement, the American-Statesman reported. "The district does not and will not tolerate any improper communication or contact between a teacher and child."
Bohn also alerted parents about the arrest and suspension in an email, the American-Statesman reported.
Nassour told KXAS that Fowlkes "was arrested on the statement of a 17-year-old kid with no corroborating evidence."
According to the American-Statesman, Fowlkes, who taught anatomy and physiology and environmental systems at Lockhart High, previously taught science and social studies at Plum Creek Elementary School. The Houston Chronicle, citing Fowlkes' social media accounts, reported that she has been married since 2013.