Samantha Fitzpatrick of Oshkosh, Wisconsin is this week’s Bad Teacher after authorities found enough evidence to charge her with sexual assault of a student by school staff along with a handful of other offenses. The 28-year-old educator’s alleged behavior made the rounds in the hallway rumor mill for a while before another teacher caught wind of the whispers and tipped off authorities.
Fitzpatrick resigned last May, just before the end of the school year — her colleague who turned her in says that she saw the victim in Fitzpatrick’s class a lot. She also noticed that while class was in session, the first-year English teacher made a habit of sitting beside the victim rather than teaching the other students. Her co-worker told police that “late in October [of 2016] a student came to her and reported that someone told her that the victim had gone to a party at a hotel in Oshkosh and he had arrived at the party late. The victim told a student that the reason he arrived to the party late was because he was at Fitzpatrick’s and he just had sex with her,” the Ripon Press reports.
Before she went to the cops, the other educator confronted Fitzpatrick, but she apparently “laughed it off.” Fitzpatrick continued denying the allegations when police confronted her but authorities say that they discovered “extensive electronic communication by phone including the use of Facebook Messenger,” according to the police report as cited by WBAY. Further investigation showed 67 phone calls between the victim (who was 16 at the time) and Fitzpatrick — the teacher deleted his number but investigators were able to get their hands on the records. The communication took place between November 2016 and May of 2017 and an officer claims that he saw the “sexually graphic messages” and that other messages refer to their sexual encounters.
The young educator has been in the news for a while — the Ripon Press first reported on her in May when she resigned. At that time, the district claimed that Fitzpatrick left the school because of “concerns about her unreliable attendance,” adding that “any suggestion that her resignation was based on another reason or that she was fired is simply inaccurate.”
She is charged with child enticement, sexual assault of a student by school staff, exposing a child to harmful materials and obstructing an officer. If convicted on all charges, the maximum penalty that Fitzpatrick faces rings in at 35 years behind bars.
While her crimes raise eyebrows, Fitzpatrick isn’t the only young educator to be jobless following allegations that she was a little too friendly with students — in November, we wrote about 23-year-old Katherine Ridenhour in North Carolina who was only starting her second year when her alleged affair became public.
Fitzpatrick has already shut down her social media accounts, though she does have a Twitter profile that’s currently locked on private mode.