Edmond, Oklahoma: The Deer Creek School District became aware of potentially inappropriate conversations that had been taking place between a teacher and student via Google Docs and notified the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department.
News 9 reports that 23-year-old Sarah Hull-Degroat, who was teaching biology, was one of over 1,000 teachers granted emergency certificates by the State Board of Education in August.
The statement issued by the school district disclosed that the communications between Degroat and the 15-year-old student came to their attention after "internet safety solutions" flagged the exchange.
"On the morning of December 2nd, Deer Creek School District was made aware of inappropriate communication that occurred between a staff member and student. Deer Creek uses several internet safety solutions that monitor for inappropriate information on the district's network. These systems alert our school district officials when they detect potential threats and signs of danger, including cyberbullying, internet predators, depression, suicidal thoughts and sexting.
Through our systems, we were alerted to this inappropriate activity. The staff member has been placed on administrative leave by the district and taken into custody by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department. The District is working closely with law enforcement while the investigation is taking place. The safety of our students continues to be our top priority."
Aaron Brilbeck spokesman for the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department stated that the investigation was ongoing as they are attempting to determine how far back the communications went and whether or not there was physical contact.
At this time investigators have determined that the conversation went at least as far back as October and that during that time Degroat had "sent a semi-nude photo of herself" to the student. Bilbrick went on to classify the content of their communication as "sexual in nature and described sexual acts they hope to experience together."
"Teachers are put into a position of trust and we're trusting them with our children," Bilbeck said. "To betray that trust, that's what's so concerning about this type of thing... We're working with the school right now to find out just how far this went."
Degroat was booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center on Friday, December 2, on a charge of facilitating sexual conduct with a minor and her bond was set at $50,000.