DALTON, Ga. — A former Whitfield County, Georgia, teacher has been sentenced to jail after prosecutors said she had a sexual relationship with a student.
On Friday, Raquel Eleana Spencer was ordered to serve at least 90 days at a minimum security prison that provides counseling and life skills classes, news outlets reported. She must also pay a $1,000 fine and perform 300 hours of community service. And she must serve the rest of a 10-year sentence on probation.
Spencer, who was 28 at the time of her arrest in April 2018, pleaded guilty to sexual assault by a person with supervisory of disciplinary authority. Whitfield County sheriff's deputies say the relationship with the student lasted more than a year.
Spencer was an English teacher at Northwest Whitfield High School in Tunnel Hill. She also was an assistant cheerleading and girl's track and field coach. She resigned in 2018 after having worked in the school system since 2013.
She was initially arrested on Feb. 25 after three teachers told administrators that Spencer was acting oddly. 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 Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, Spencer consented to a search, during which she was found with heroin and charged with drug possession.
She received the additional charge of sexual assault a day later after 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.
The drug charge was later dropped as part of a plea agreement.