A Tennessee high school teacher, previously honored as “teacher of the month,” faces charges of aggravated statutory rape following an extensive investigation into her “inappropriate physical contact” with a minor student.
Casey McGrath, a 28-year-old tenth-grade geometry teacher, received a suspension with pay from Chattanooga’s Central High School. This action came as a result of allegations surrounding “inappropriate physical contact with a student that does not result in harm” of a “sexual nature” on May 1, 2022, as per the details from the teacher’s personnel file reviewed by WTVC.
“Ms. McGrath was suspended without pay on March 31,” Steve Doremus, the Hamilton County School District’s Communications Officer, said. “She was not rehired for the current school year.”
Fox News obtained an indictment dated Aug. 14, which accuses McGrath of “unlawfully and knowingly engag[ing] in sexual penetration with a person of at least 13 years of age, but less than 18,” emphasizing that she is “at least 10 years older than the victim.”
McGrath, after her arrest on Aug. 18, secured her release from jail by posting a $10,000 bond. She is scheduled to reappear in Hamilton County Criminal Court on Sept. 6 for her arraignment. McGrath’s professional history includes a tenure at East Ridge Middle School. Central High School students once elected her as “teacher of the month,” a detail mentioned in a school newspaper article, which has since been removed from the school’s website.
“Every school year, she said, she hoped her “students [would] believe in their own capability to do math” and “know [that she] care[d] about them as a person, not just a student,” McGrath revealed in an interview.
Additionally, McGrath took on the role of an assistant volleyball coach at the school. She expressed to the student newspaper that “being able to spend time with students in a non-academic setting [gave] her the chance to get to know them even more.”
One student described McGrath as a “very kind teacher” who “took her time and made sure [he understood] what [he] was being taught during a difficult time for everyone (the start of the pandemic).”
“She’s a very involved teacher,” a high school junior commented. “I can tell she respected her students, which makes me have respect for her in turn.”
McGrath pursued her major in mathematics at Lee University and later achieved her master’s degree in secondary education for mathematics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. By October 2021, she had accumulated five years of teaching experience, including two years at Central High.
Aggravated statutory rape, classified as a Class D felony, carries a potential sentence of two to 12 years in prison, as per state sentencing guidelines.
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