Considering we entrust them with the care of our children every day, we like to hope that teachers and those who work in schools are always upstanding citizens and pillars of society. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Brittany Zamora, a 27-year-old sixth-grade teacher at Las Brisas Academy Elementary School in Goodyear, Arizona, was apprehended by police last week after the parents of a 13-year-old boy found illicit messages on his phone. After investigation, it transpired that Zamora – who is married – had engaged in a sexual relationship with the young teen, and had been sending him explicit messages for at least a month.
27 YO teacher as Las Brisas Academy, Brittany Zamora charged with several counts of sexual conduct w minor. Court document show text transcript w 13 YO boy where she said “I’ll give you whatever you want baby” #Fox10Phoenix pic.twitter.com/5xsUIcGGP3
— Stefania Okoliè (@StefaniaFOX10) 23 March 2018
Between February 1st and March 8th of this year, Zamora allegedly had sex with the boy three times, and also performed a sex act on him in her car. According to police, the relationship took place both on and off school grounds, and was sustained through multiple text exchanges.
The pair originally began flirting in a classroom group chat, after which Zamora proceeded to pursue the youth. She sent him nude pictures of herself, as well as some images in which she was wearing only her underwear.
Court papers have documented some of the messages sent between the teacher and pupil, which were only found after the boy’s parents installed an app on his phone to monitor his activity.
— Antonia Mejia (@AMejia12News) 23 March 2018
The 13-year-old’s mother and father have also claimed that Zamora’s husband harassed their family after they discovered the messages. According to them, the teacher’s husband said that Zamora had “made a big mistake, but that she loved the kids”, and begged them not to contact authorities over the matter. He also may have threatened to fight the teenager’s father, suggesting that the pair should “meet up” in order to “settle this”.
However, the family decided to take it to the police immediately on Wednesday last week.
Following this, a second student came forward to say that he witnessed Zamora having sex with the pupil, and that the teacher had sent nude images of herself to at least one other teenager.
Goodyear police spokeswoman, Lisa Kutis, said that parents of schoolchildren should be wary of their online activities. “Parents need to be vigilant and know what their kids are doing online and on social media,” she said. “These parental monitoring apps are so important.”
— Lindsey Reiser (@LindseyReiser) 23 March 2018
In a statement posted on the school’s website, Liberty School District interim superintendent, Richard Rundhaug, said:
“The safety of our students is our #1 priority. Transparency is equally important. We are fully cooperating with the Goodyear Police Department and will comment further at the appropriate time.
“This incident has been reported to the Arizona State Board of Education so they can make a determination regarding the teacher’s certification. Additionally, we have school counselors and school psychologists at Las Brisas Academy today to help students and staff members cope with this incident.
“The school psychologists and school counselors will also be available for the foreseeable future to continue to attend to our students’ and staff members’ needs.”
Zamora has been charged with two counts of molestation of a child, one count of furnishing harmful material and nine counts of sexual conduct with a minor. She is due to appear in court this Thursday.