Broadneck High teacher facing charges for alleged relationship with student

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March 12, 2013|By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun

An Anne Arundel County high school teacher and basketball coach, facing charges related to an alleged relationship with a student, turned herself in to police on Tuesday.

Police said Broadneck High School English teacher Erin Thorne, 28, and a senior student exchanged nude pictures of themselves through text messages beginning in the boy's senior year in September 2010.

Police said they determined the two exchanged the text messages before the student was 18, and later they had a sexual relationship that began after he turned 18. The student, now 19, graduated in spring 2011, authorities said.

Thorne, who could not be reached for comment, was charged with soliciting child pornography and displaying obscene material to a minor. She could face up to 11 years in prison for the two charges.

"The kind of behavior that Erin Thorne is charged with engaging in cannot be tolerated at any school in our county, or in our nation for that matter," said Anne Arundel County schools Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell in a statement. "Preying on children in any way should not be excused for a single moment."

School officials placed Thorne on administrative leave in November when their investigation began, based on an anonymous tip. The school plans to recommend to the Board of Education that Thorne be fired.

Broadneck High's principal, David G. Smith, and Maxwell wrote in a letter to parents that Thorne had not been in contact with students since being placed on administrative leave.

"We also have provided — and will continue to provide — appropriate resources to any student or staff member who is affected by this situation. We encourage you to discuss this matter with your children as well, and contact our school counselors if your children need support," the letter said.

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