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Where were these teachers when I was in school?

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Tampa area teacher arrested on charges of having sex with student

TAMPA, Fla. - A newlywed middle school teacher has been charged with having sex numerous times with a 14-year-old student, including in a classroom, her apartment and once in a vehicle while his 15-year-old cousin drove.

Debra Beasley Lafave, 23, turned herself in to Marion County authorities in Ocala Monday. She was released on $25,000 bail.

Lafave, of Riverview, is a reading teacher at Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, a few miles north of Tampa. She was charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery and one count of lewd and lascivious exhibition.

Authorities say Lafave, who has been married less than a year, had sex with the student in the back of her sport utility vehicle while the student's 15- year-old cousin drove them around the Ocala area.

Monday's charges are in addition to those from last week's arrest in Temple Terrace, when she was charged with two counts of committing lewd and lascivious battery for allegedly having sex with the teen in a portable classroom at her school. She was out on bond from last week's arrest when she turned herself in Monday.

Lafave's lawyer, John Fitzgibbons, said he was not ready to respond to the allegations.

"There is a presumption of innocence in this country," he said.

Marion County detectives said the boy and his cousin provided matching statements incriminating the teacher and that the 14-year-old was able to identify tattoos and birthmarks on Lafave's body and the layout of her apartment.

The teen told investigators that he and Lafave got to know each other on their way back from a middle school graduating class trip to SeaWorld Orlando last month.

He said that she would invite him to her class during detention and ended up taking him to his basketball practices at a recreation center, to get his hair cut and to his house, the report said.

Lafave gave the boy her cell phone number on the last day of school, the boy told detectives. The sexual relationship allegedly began on June 3.

Lafave, who has worked with the Hillsborough County school system for two years, has been placed on administrative duty and could be suspended without pay following the next school board meeting, officials said.

The boy told detectives that Lafave told him that her marriage was in trouble and that she was aroused by the fact that having sex with him was not allowed.

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Maybe we should reconsider allowing 23 year olds teach to 14 year olds. There needs to be some kind of generational seperation there. Not that all 23 year olds would do that, but it just kind of struck me as an odd situation.

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I knew a girl, who attended college with me, starting teaching English at a local high school and ended up getting pregnant by one of her students. She never got caught, because she quit her job.

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