Should a teacher face criminal charges for having sex with students who are technically adults?
Kennedale High School
KENNEDALE — A Kennedale High School teacher accused of having sexual intercourse with five students has been released on bond.
Police said the alleged activity took place at the Arlington home of Brittni Nicole Colleps, 27, in April and again earlier this month.
The community still reeling from the news.
Police believe they have a very strong case against Colleps, backed up not only by text messages, but also by video that shows the teacher committing the crimes.
Arlington police were called to Kennedale High last Wednesday, the day after Colleps took a leave of absence.
She turned herself in Monday to face charges of improper relationships with five students — all of them young men 18-years-old or older.
"It was five students who basically explained that they had had a sexual relationship with the teacher over the months of April and May," said Arlington police spokeswoman Tiara Richard.
According to the arrest warrant, the case began on April 20 with a series of "sexually explicit text messages."
On April 26, that student and the teacher had "sexual intercourse" at the teacher's Arlington home.
The student told police that on "multiple occasions ... he and four other Kennedale High School students had sexual intercourse with her."
Police said one student's cell phone has video to back up the allegations.
"After that incident, that's when rumors started at school — kids started speaking to each other and teachers were notified," Richard said. "That's when the school district was called in."
At the school, parents expressed shock and outrage.
"It's sickening," said Trina Harice. "I can't even think about it."
Students have been hearing the rumors for a week. Hayley Londo seemed concerned about both her classmates and the accused faculty member.
"She's a really nice teacher, though," Londo said. "That's kind of messed up what she did, but I kind of feel bad for her."
Kennedale ISD Superintendent Gary Dugger issued this statement:
"As the alleged acts took place off campus, once Kennedale ISD personnel were put on notice, immediate action was taken."
Because they are adults, the students involved in the case will not be charged. But Colleps now faces five felony counts. She is suspended from work and has been released on $125,000 bond.
Sex between people over 18 is legal in Texas, but the state has a special law that applies only to teachers.
If convicted of the charges, Colleps could be sent to prison for 20 years.