A Dripping Springs native who is a science teacher at Lockhart High was arrested Monday after police allege she engaged in an improper relationship with a 17-year-old student.
Sarah Madden Fowlkes, 27, was booked into the Caldwell County Jail on a charge of improper relationship between educator and student, which is a second degree felony, according to a Lockhart Police press release.
In a seperate press release, Lockhart ISD Monday announced the district suspended Fowlkes, who has worked for the district since October 2014. The district also has sent notice of the conduct to the State Board for Educator Certification.
According to Lockhart Police officials, the department received a report from a school administrator March 10 that indicated an educator may have had an inappropriate relationship with a student currently enrolled at the school. In a letter sent to LISD parents, Susan K. Bohn, LISD superintendent of schools, said the Lockhart High principal notified district administration and Child Protective Services.
An investigation into the incident led detectives to a male 17-year-old student, according to police. Interviews determined the student had been in contact in person and by message with Fowlkes. During their encounters, it was alleged Fowlkes engaged in “sexual content with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the student,” according to the release.
On Monday, Lockhart police obtained a warrant for Fowlkes, who, according to the release, turned herself in.
According to her Facebook page, Fowlkes is from Dripping Springs and graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin.
In her letter, Bohn said Fowlkes will not return to the school district.
“Lockhart parents entrust their children to us every day, and it is something we do not take lightly. Student safety is the district’s most important priority,” said Bohn. “As soon as we learned of the report, we acted swiftly to involve law enforcement and CPS to conduct a thorough investigation. The district does not and will not tolerate any improper communication or contact between a teacher and child.”
Bohn added in her letter that, as a parent of an LISD student, she joins in “feeling anger and disappointment in what happened.”
“As an administrator, I will always take swift action against anyone who would violate the sacred trust between students and educators,” Bohn said.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing.