Teacher of the Year winner Ethel Anderson arrested for sexual relationship with 12-year-old

1:38 PM, Mar 1, 2012   |    comments
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Ethel Anderson




Riverview, Florida -- Mango Elementary School's 2011 Ida Baker Diversity Teacher of the Year is facing serious allegations, accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 12-year-old boy.

Hillsborough deputies arrested the 5th grade Language Arts teacher, Ethel Anderson, 29, at her home in Riverview Wednesday night, accusing her of having oral sex and inappropriately touching a 12-year-old boy while at her home.

The boy was not one of Anderson's students and he was not a student at the school.  Detectives say Anderson was the boy's tutor.

Detectives began their investigation when the victim's mother notified them that she believed her son was having a sexual relationship with the teacher, who is known to the family. 

The alleged incidents occurred between December of 2011 and February 2012 at Anderson's home.

Detectives say Anderson would invite the boy over to her home when the alleged incidents occurred.

Anderson is married and has a young child, according to the school district.

She is a fifth grade teacher at Mango Elementary School in Seffner where she has worked since 2006.

Anderson has previously taught 1st and 4th grade at the school.

A crisis team is working with staff and students at the school Thursday morning.

"We have some very upset teachers who are close to her," said Linda Cobbe, a Hillsborough County School District spokeswoman.

Cobbe says Anderson was named by her fellow peers at the school as Teacher of the Year in 2011, a reward designated for teachers who go the extra mile, show creativity in the classroom and connect with students.

"It is very disappointing.  We can't explain why it happens, but we also have to remind everyone over and over that even though it seems like there are lot, there are 14,000 teachers in this district and we have one accused right now," said Cobbe, after we asked about the district's reaction to yet another teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a child.

Cobbe says there was no indication the alleged incidents were occurring.

She tells 10 News an automated phone message is going out to parents today to explain what has happened. 

"Everyone is very sad, very disappointed and shocked," said Cobbe.

Anderson will receive a letter in jail today, notifying her that she is not to return to school grounds.  She has been suspended with pay until the School Board meets to decide whether to suspend her without pay.

Anderson is facing three counts of Lewd Battery and two counts of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation. 

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