A 38-year-old teacher has been charged with raping a student under the age of 16. (Daily Mail By PAUL THOMPSON)
Heather Whitten, a married mother of three, was arrested by police at the Alabama School where she was worked as a fifth grade reading teacher.
Police have released few details about the alleged rape but confirmed the victim was aged between 12 and 16 years of age.
The St Clair Sheriff’s Office also said the alleged under age sex did not take place on school grounds.
It is believed police in Pell City, Alabama, launched an investigation into Whitten after receiving a tip off she was involved sexually with a student.
Whitten has been teaching at Williams Intermediate School since January having previously worked at an elementary school.
Her arrest on Friday on school grounds stunned parents of teens at the school.
‘They need to put her tail in jail, and I’ll be on a jury to send her there,’ said parent Connie Smith.
‘Crackdown on these teachers, do back ground checks when they get a complaint on these teachers, investigate it, don’t sweep it under the rug.’
Whitten was suspended immediately by the Pell City School Board after her arrest.
Schools Superintendent Bobby Hathcock said all teachers undergo background checks before being hired.
‘All the people go on a background check that’s run through the state and the feds, and we feel comfortable with that, but unfortunately things happen that we’d rather not,’ he said.
Whitten was charged with second degree rape and released on $5,000 bond.
She has been suspended from her job without pay.
According to her resume on the Williams Intermediate School website, Whitten graduated from Pell City High School in 1992, graduated from Auburn University in 1997 with a degree in health administration and earned a masters in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from the University of West Alabama in 2011.