A Hillsborough County teacher has been charged with two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Caroline Lawson of Lennard High School was arrested Friday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.
The alleged incident occurred about 5 p.m. Wednesday when a juvenile went to Lawson’s residence.
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“While at the residence, the victim and defendant engaged in consensual sexual activity,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Deputies later met with the teen, who provided an account of what happened and identified Lawson.
Chelene Kroneck, a former student of Lawson’s who graduated from Lennard High School last year, said Lawson was her favorite teacher and never showed signs of inappropriate behavior.
“I knew she recently got engaged and she had her whole life ahead of her. I don’t know why she would throw it away for somebody so much younger,” Kroneck said. “She was a wonderful teacher to me. She always taught really well and she always tried to get the class involved. It’s really upsetting she would do something like that.”
According to the arrest report, the teenage boy was Lawson’s student. The two allegedly had sex at her Tampa apartment.
Detectives said the teacher admitted it in a text to someone.
“I cheated on Jameson ... with a student,” she is accused of writing.
“When you say cheated, do you mean slept with?” the person asked.
“Yes,” replied Lawson, according to detectives.
Lawson had been a teacher with the district since 2014. There were no previous investigations or complaints in her file.
A district spokeswoman said Lawson resigned from her position Friday morning.
“We were deeply disappointed by these charges,” said school spokeswoman Tanya Arja. “We do everything we can to ensure student safety. We do background checks on those who work with us. So this now former employee, she broke the trust that parents have in her.”
Lawson bonded out of the Hillsborough County jail on a $30,000 bond Friday morning.