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Deputies: Florida middle school teacher had sex with student

February 6, 2021 GMT

SHALIMAR, Fla. (AP) — A Florida middle school teacher was arrested after police said she had a two-year sexual relationship with a student, authorities said.

Hayley Close Hallmark, 35, was arrested Friday and charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a student by an authority figure. She is being held without bond in Okaloosa County Jail.

The student, now 17, confided with a high school teacher about the relationship with Hallmark. The teacher than reported it to the school resource officer on Thursday.

The student told an an Okaloosa sheriff’s deputy that the relationship started in August 2017 when she was in eighth grade. It began with texting, evolved into sexting and then became physical in 2018, according to court documents.

The student said she and Hallmark had multiple sexual encounters in Hallmark’s classroom and at each of their homes. She allowed an investigator access to her cellphone, where he confirmed there was an inappropriate relationship, according to court documents.

Hallmark was put on administrative leave. She teaches history at Ruckel Middle School in Niceville. She also coaches the school’s dance team and is co-coach of the girls soccer team. In 2011, while working in Pensacola, she was named Escambia County’s social studies teacher of the year.

Jail records didn’t list a lawyer for Hallmark.