Gulfport, Florida -- The sign out front talks of teacher appreciation and "Panther Pride", but according to police, a former teacher's aide at Hamilton Disston School was acting more like a "cougar".
Artia Davis, 30, was arrested Monday at her Clearwater apartment and charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Police say Davis and a 16-year-old boy she met at school carried on an improper relationship since last November.
"Initially both the victim and the suspect lied about their names, their ages and the nature of their relationship," said Clearwater Police spokesperson Elizabeth Watts. "But we were able to sort through all of that and confirm that there had been a sexual relationship going on for at least seven months."
Davis had worked at the school for students with emotional or behavioral issues since 2010. She resigned in March, after district officials told her she was likely to be fired for spending time with students after hours and lending one a car and a cell phone. At that time, school officials say there was no hint of sexual activity.
However, on Monday, a tip from a student changed that and led to Davis's arrest on sex charges.
"Anytime there's information about something like this, a student is commended for coming forward and sharing that, so it can be addressed," said district spokesperson Melanie Marquez.
No one answered the door at Davis's apartment Tuesday afternoon, but when police came to question her on Monday, they not only found the former teacher's aide, but also the boy.
"When we went out with investigators we found the suspect and we also found the victim there, taking a nap in her bed," said Watts.