A former high school teacher pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges related to a sexual liaison with a 17-year-old student, but will avoid jail time and may ultimately be able to have her record cleared. NBC affiliate WCNC in Charlotte reports Susan Sparrow, 41, has agreed to give up her teaching license and to avoid any Gaston County Schools property or any function where students may be gathered for one year as part of a deferred prosecution arrangement. Sparrow was arrested in December of last year, after authorities learned that she had sex with a former student of hers at Cherryville High School in North Carolina.
Police say the relationship began after Sparrow and the 17-year-old boy began flirting with each other on the social media app Snapchat, including the sending of nude pictures. She later picked him up in her car and took him to her home, where they had sex, according to Charlotte’s WSOC-TV. After having sex, the young man took a picture of Sparrow on his phone, which he later showed to his friends.
The Gaston Gazette explains, a deferred prosecution arrangement is an admission of wrongdoing. The charges against Sparrow will be dismissed if she follows the terms of the agreement for one full year. She can then petition the court to have her record expunged. However, if she violates the terms of the agreement, she could spend between 16 and 29 months in jail. Either way, one thing is certain: her teaching days are over. "The internet is forever," says Sparrow’s defense attorney Travis Page. "Once these stories are published, it undermines your credibility in the classroom."
[Photo: Gaston County Police]