A 23-year-old Clarksdale Municipal School District teacher faces sexual battery charges after allegedly sleeping with a student, according to the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department.
Kristen Damon was arrested at her home Tuesday and remains in jail on a $25,000 bond.
Employed through the Teach For America Program, Damon taught seventh grade English at Higgins Middle School and coached soccer at Clarksdale High School.
The district had notified the Mississippi Department of Education on Monday that it believed inappropriate contact had occurred between Damon and a student, said MDE spokeswoman Jean Cook.
State law requires districts to report such incidents to MDE within 10 days of discovering the violation.
It’s unclear whether Damon has been suspended or fired by the district, but she has been dismissed by Teach For America, spokesman Boyce Upholt said in an email to The Clarion-Ledger.
“We take this situation very seriously, as the well-being and safety of the students we work with is our top priority,” Upholt said. “We are staying in close communication with the district and with local authorities as they gain a fuller understanding of the facts and determine any appropriate next steps.”
Clarksdale Superintendent Dennis Dupree didn’t return a call for comment.
If found guilty, Damon could lose her teaching license and face up to 30 years in prison. She also would have to register as a sex offender.
At least 38 educators have engaged in unethical behavior with students since 2011, according to MDE records.