By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer
First, the Big Island teacher wrote a vague letter to her intermediate school students saying she was going away for a while. Then on Friday, she was arrested on suspicion that she had a sexual relationship with one of her male students going back four years when he was younger than 14.
The 35-year-old teacher was released after her arrest without being charged with a crime.
Now parents at three Big Island schools two schools at which she worked and the high school the boy attends are stepping forward with concern and asking for assurances that their children were never in jeopardy.
"It seems like they better address it right now," parent Todd Brown said. "Parents are not being notified."
Browns stepson was a sixth-grade student in the teachers home room at Honaunau School in Captain Cook three years ago. His fourth-grade daughter attends that school now.
Brown is also an assistant football coach for the varsity team at Konawaena High School in Kealakekua, where the boy who is allegedly involved is a senior.
The teacher, who taught language arts for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault involving a male under the age of 14.
Police are investigating allegations that she had a sexual relationship with the boy since 1996, when the boy attended Honaunau School.
She was released by police after her arrest and has been on unpaid leave since Monday.
In August, she was transferred to Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate in Papaikou, near Hilo.
The teacher did not return telephone calls left at the home of relatives.
On Jan. 23, she wrote a letter to her students at Kalanianaole saying there was an emergency situation that required her to leave, said principal Grant Yamamoto.
The teacher was gone that afternoon, replaced with a substitute.
Principals and district officials acknowledged that they have not discussed the issues with students or parents at the three schools.
They say theyre trying to balance parents need for information against the rights of someone who has not been charged with a crime.
Yet school district officials acknowledge the concern of parents and community members.
"This is a very delicate situation," Yamamoto said. "I need to address parents concerns, but I have to make sure I handle it the right way."
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