CONCORD, N.C. – In what has seemingly become a daily news story, a married North Carolina teacher and junior varsity cheerleading coach was arrested Wednesday after reportedly having a sexual relationship with a male student.
Katherine Ross Ridenhour, 23, an educator at Cox Mill High School in Concord, N.C., allegedly had a consensual relationship with a 17-year-old male student, FOX46 reported.
The Concord Police Department said Ridenhour and the student had “inappropriate contact” several times during the last month and a half at the school, FOX46 reported.
According to the school’s website, Ridenhour was the Junior Varsity cheerleading head coach, reported WBTV. The district hired the young woman in Aug. 2016 as a family consumer and science teacher.
A spokesperson with Cabarrus County Schools told WBTV that Ridenhour resigned from the school district on Tuesday. She was no longer listed as a staff member Wednesday afternoon.
Correction, Katherine Ridenhour is 23 years old, not 25. Correct release attached. /kee pic.twitter.com/aO0NO4nKH7
— Concord, NC Police (@ConcordNCPolice) November 15, 2017
Ridenhour was charged with two counts of “indecent liberties with a student,” police said.
Parents told FOX46 something needed to be done about teachers having inappropriate relationships with students.
“They need to come up with something more severe and strict in cases like this. I don’t know what, but something needs to be done because it’s happening everywhere daily,” Lavonne Strickland, a parent of a student at the school, told FOX46.
Another parent, Daisy Rawlins, said: “I think it’s appalling, and I don’t understand why this keeps happening. It’s being reported a lot and I don’t understand why teachers think it’s okay to mess around with students.”
The Charlotte Observer reported Ridenhour graduated from Liberty University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science.
Police say the teen was old enough to consent, but Ridenhour was criminally charged because he’s a student and she’s in a position of authority, reported TV station WCNC.
NBC Charlotte talked to frustrated parents outside the high school, who say they were never notified of the situation. One mother said she only learned about it from her children at the school.
Now, she has more questions about what’s happening inside the school.
“In the dark, no one’s telling us anything,” said Stacey Krok.
Parents like Krok were relying on the rumor mill outside of Cox Mill High School on Wednesday. A teacher is out the door, after being accused of a relationship with a student.
“Unfortunately, the rumors or accusations have already been passed among all the students within the school, so I’m finding out from my children, not from the school system,” says Krok.
Police say the 17-year-old male is old enough to consent, but Katherine Ridenhour was criminally charged because he’s a student and she’s in a position of authority.
“It’s a little disturbing just thinking a teacher should have been a little more professional,” says parent, Joy Bruce.
Regarding the criminal charges, “I assume that was the appropriate action to take, she probably shouldn’t be at the school if she’s going to be doing those things,” says Bruce.
(Photos: Cox Mill High School/Concord Police Department)