A charter school teacher/former Shelby County School employee is charged with sexual battery by an authority figure after an alleged affair with a 16-year-old student.
According to the Shelby County District Attorney’s office, Jasmine Edmonds, 24, was sexually involved with a 16-year-old boy from November 2017 to January 2018 while she taught algebra at Trezevant High School. Investigators say the sexual activity happened at Edmonds’ apartment in Raleigh.
Edmonds was placed on leave from SCS last spring while authorities investigated her. She was indicted on charges in November and arrested this week. She is free on $50,000 bond.
Despite the investigation hanging over her, she was hired by Power Center Academy High School, a Gestalt Community School. She worked there as a math teacher and cheerleading coach until her arrest Monday.
The following letter was sent to parents:
In true transparency and partnership, I want to share some disheartening news with you. Ms. Jasmine Edmonds, a mathematics teacher at Power Center Academy High School, was arrested Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. She is a new teacher at PCA High, having just started in August 2018. She teaches Bridge Math, Algebra II, and Pre-Calculus. According to the arresting officers, Ms. Edmonds has been charged with sexual battery by an authority figure. The incident allegedly happened in November 2017 prior to her employment with us. At that time, Ms. Edmonds was a Shelby County Schools teacher. Currently, the incident does not involve any of our scholars.
Last summer, prior to hiring Ms. Edmonds, we completed a thorough background check, which showed no indication of such behavior. Although we have no knowledge at this time that her behavior impacted any of our scholars, we are doing our own internal due diligence. We will fully assist the Memphis Police Department with their investigation. As a result, Ms. Edmonds has been placed on administrative leave. She will not have access to any of our scholars or their families. She cannot enter the school building or participate in any school-sponsored events.
Tomorrow during our morning seminar, we will announce this deeply disappointing news to our scholars. Moreover, our counseling team and school leaders will discuss what to do in the case of sexual abuse, assault, or battery. As a parent partner, we hope that you also have this important conversation with your children.
- Ask your child what they have heard about the incident. Let them share concerns and let their responses steer the conversation.
- Remind your child that it is never ok for an adult to engage them inappropriately physically or verbally.
- Reassure your child that if an adult crosses physical or verbal boundaries with them, it is never their fault. All concerns should be shared with a parent and/or trusted adult at the school.
- Remind your child that while one teacher is accused of doing something inappropriate, it is our hope and promise that most teachers are trustworthy and fully invested in your academic success.
Please know that your child’s safety is of the utmost importance. We have zero tolerance for any form of child abuse. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.
Yours in Partnership,
Mr. Antonio Ryan
Gestalt Community Schools sent this statement to Local 24 News:
We were shocked and disappointed when Jasmine Edmonds was arrested. She was a new teacher at Power Center Academy, and we performed a thorough background check last summer, which showed no indication of such behavior. She is currently on administrative leave from Gestalt Community Schools pending further investigation. Although we have no knowledge at this time that her behavior impacted any of our scholars, we are doing our own internal due diligence. We will fully assist the Memphis Police Department with their investigation.
Shelby County Schools sent the following statement:
Following the reported allegations, the employee was placed on administrative leave on March 27 so that the District and law enforcement could conduct a thorough investigation. This is standard District procedure. The employee did not return to the school for the remainder of the year and is no longer employed by the District.