Whitfield County teacher arrested for heroin possession also accused of having sex with student

Raquel Eleana Spencer
photo Raquel Eleana Spencer

The Whitfield County, Ga., teacher who brought heroin to class this week also had sex with a student, police say.

Raquel Eleana Spencer, 28, received an added charge Thursday: sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority. Whitfield County Sheriff's Office Capt. Paul Woods said investigators searched her phone and found text messages with a student. The messages included sexual content, authorities said.

According to a release from the department, investigators talked to the student and learned that a sexual relationship between the two had been going on for a year. An English teacher, Spencer also coached the track and cheerleading teams this year.

Whitfield County Schools spokesman Eric Beavers said Spencer tendered her resignation during a meeting in the jail with Superintendent Judy Gilreath on Wednesday night, hours after the investigation began. Spencer had worked in the school system since January 2013, Beavers said.

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff's Office incident report, three teachers told administrators that Spencer was acting oddly on Wednesday morning. She spoke rapidly and continually switched subjects during conversations, and it was hard to keep up with her, the teachers said. Assistant Principal Robin Baggett asked a school resource officer to assess Spencer and determine whether she was on drugs.

According to a release from the sheriff's office, Spencer consented to a search. The officer found heroin, and she was charged with possession of the drug.

Spencer remained at the Whitfield County Jail on Thursday night. A magistrate set her bond for the drug possession charge at $10,000 during a first appearance hearing at 2 p.m. Thursday. But the magistrate did not address the sexual assault charge. For that count, Spencer will return again today.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or tjett@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.