TAMPA — A Hillsborough County teacher resigned Friday after she was arrested and charged with having sex with one of her students.
Caroline Lawson, a 29-year-old English teacher at Earl J. Lennard High School in Ruskin, had consensual sex with the 17-year-old boy at her Tampa apartment about 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.
Later that evening, Lawson sent a series of text messages to a third party saying she cheated on someone "with a student," the report states.
The third party asked: "When you say cheated, do you mean slept with?"
"Yes," Lawson replied.
The student later gave investigators a detailed account of the encounter and identified Lawson as his English teacher at Lennard.
Lawson declined to provide a statement but did admit she sent the text messages, the report says.
She was arrested early Friday on two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
The charge was enhanced to a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. She was being held in the Hillsborough County jail in lieu of $30,000 bail.
Lawson had been employed with the district since 2014, a spokeswoman said.
"We are deeply disappointed by these charges," district officials said in a statement.
"The safety of our students is our top priority. We are working with law enforcement as they investigate."
Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.