Former Florence substitute teacher indicted for sex with student
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - A former Florence substitute teacher has turned herself into authorities following a lengthy investigation into claims that she had sex with a student.
Florence police say that Kayla Safford, 24, turned herself in after being indicted by a Lauderdale County grand jury for having sexual contact with a student.
Police say detectives were made aware of the allegations in early March and began an investigation. The results were then turned over to the grand jury.
Safford was working as a contract substitute teacher at the time of the offense and evidence obtained in the investigation shows that the relationship with the student occurred as a result of her employment in the school system, according to police.
Superintendent Jimmy Shaw said Safford was fired as soon as the allegations came to light in April.
Alabama law states: "A person commits the crime of a school employee having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19 years if he or she is a school employee and engages in sexual contact, as defined by Section 13A-6-60(3), with a student, regardless of whether the student is male or female. Consent is not a defense to a charge under this section. The crime of a school employee having sexual contact with a student is a Class C felony."
Authorities also say that the school system was made aware of the allegations early on in the investigation. They have also confirmed that the student was an 18-year-old male.
"I'm relieved to have heard the indictment. It shouldn't matter whether the student be male or female, 14, 16, or 18 years of age. No teacher or substitute should engage/entice her student into sexual intercourse." the mother of the student said in a statement. "When parents send their kids to school they trust that teachers and substitute teachers will act as guardian ad litem for their children, protecting and guiding them. A trust that shouldn't be broken. Teachers and substitute teachers should have ample training and should know there is a boundary between them and their student that should never be crossed."
Safford was booked into the Lauderdale County Detention Center. She has since posted bond.
Shaw said Safford was hired through a company called Kelly Educational Staffing Services. He said the school district takes student safety seriously. He said Kelly Educational Services requires all contracted employees have an Alabama substitute license, a reference screening and background check.
He said Kelly Educational Services can't be blamed for Safford's apparent behavior.
"I don't find this to be a problem with Kelly Educational Service. I find it to be a problem with individual who did it," said Shaw.
Shaw said they will continue to contract employees through Kelly Educational Services.
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