Former Tuscaloosa teacher jailed on sex charges
Thursday, April 19, 2012
A former Tuscaloosa teacher, Jennifer Hawk Elebash, turned herself into police Thursday after being indicted by a grand jury on multiple sex charges involving a student. Elebash is charged with one count of Attempted School Employee Engaging in a Sex Act or Deviant Sexual Intercourse with a Student Under the Age of 19 Years Old, one count of School Employee Having Sexual Contact with a Student Under the Age of 19 Years Old and one count of Harrassment, according to the Tuscaloosa Police Department. Police say the student involved in the allegations was 16 years old at the time of the incident. Elebash, now 41, was 40 years old at the time of the incident.
The student reported the incident to police in October 2011, launching an investigation led by the Tuscaloosa Police Juvenile Investigators. Elebash was arrested at 11:40 a.m. Thursday and placed in the Tuscaloosa County Jail with a bond of $10,000. The Tuscaloosa City School System released a statement Thursday afternoon on Elebash's arrest, saying their investigation into the allegations led, in part, to the police investigation. According to the school system, Elebash was placed on leave and taken out of the classroom on Sept. 30, 2011, due to allegations made by a student. "The allegations were immediately reported to the Tuscaloosa Police Department, the Department of Human Resources and the Alabama Department of Education. The Tuscaloosa Police Department handled the investigation from that point forward," the statement says. [Read the full statement from the school system here.]
The Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent notified Elebash he was recommending her termination on Oct. 7, 2011. According to the school system, Elebash submitted a letter of resignation which the school board accepted during its October 11, 2011 meeting. "The primary mission of the Tuscaloosa City School System is the protection of the children entrusted to its care. As a System, we were both shocked and saddened by these allegations. Behavior that places children at risk will not be tolerated," the statement says. The Tuscaloosa News reports that Elebash was a former foreign language teacher at Central High School.
Keywords: Tuscaloosa, teacher, sex charges, student, school, indicted,