Hunter Day, a high school science teacher in Yukon, Oklahoma, is accused of having an “inappropriate relationship” with a student that allegedly included the exchange of nude photos and unraveled after sheriff’s investigators posed as the boy and discovered Day waiting for the teenager surrounded by lit candles.
The 22-year-old chemistry teacher is but the latest in a string of female teachers to be hit with sex-related charges after being accused of inappropriate relationships with students. The cases are occurring in all areas of the country and many of them have one thing in common: Social media. Nude photos and explicit text messages were recovered in the Hunter Day case too, according to authorities. Day was the youth’s chemistry teacher, according to the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, the investigating agency in Oklahoma.
Authorities set up a sting operation to catch Hunter Day in the alleged act, and they released a photo of how she was dressed when they showed up in her living room after pretending to be the boy in question, a press release says.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Day Was Hired to Teach on an ‘Emergency Teaching Certificate’ & Is Married to a Football Coach at the High School
With a history in customer service jobs, Day needed a special certificate to teach in the first place. According to Oklahoma’s News 4, “Day, a science teacher at Yukon High School, was hired to teach for the first time with no experience through an emergency teaching certificate. Now, she may never be able to teach again.” The New York Daily News reports that Day is married to a football coach at the high school. She had only worked at the school district for six months.
In fact, Day was previously featured in a television news story on emergency teaching certificates. “News 9 spoke with Day for a story on emergency teaching certifications back in October. News 9 has also learned that Day’s husband is a football coach at the high school,” that television station reported. (The couple was married in 2014.)
In the News 9 story, Day said, “I definitely see teaching as something I could do forever which is not something I would have said six months ago.” You can see that story here. “Hunter Day’s classroom at Yukon High School looks like any other classroom. She has all the desks in place, her bulletin boards decorated and daily routines organized,” it read, quoting her as saying, “I’m ready to just get them here. I’ve done all the planning I can do.”
The school district called the news of Day’s arrest the result of a “very poor decision by a person entrusted with teaching our students.” Hunter’s husband’s Facebook page is filled with photos of them together dating back to when they were teens as well as pictures of football.
2. The Teen’s Parents Went Through His Phone, Discovering the Salacious Texts
Day was arrested after the teenager’s parents grew suspicious because they thought his behavior had changed and decided to go through his phone, according to News 4. There, they discovered nude photos and “explicit text messages,” the television station reported. Investigators with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office “arrested Hunter Day, a 22 year old female, of Yukon on Wednesday after the Sheriff’s Office received a complaint from some parents that Day was having an illegal relationship with their son,” the sheriff’s department reported in a press release.
“Day, a school teacher with Yukon Public Schools was arrested by investigators at her Yukon residence after the Sheriff’s Office received a complaint by the under-aged boy’s parents who brought their son’s cell phone to the Sheriff’s Office, and asked for a forensic review of the phone. The parents told investigators they had already been through the phone and discovered text messages and nude photographs, and were concerned Day had already had sex with their son. They were also extremely concerned because they believed Day was their son’s Chemistry teacher,” the release said.
In June, Day had written the school district, seeking the chemistry teaching job, and said that she has a “love for others and truly wish for everyone to succeed. I learn very quickly and adapt to an ever changing environment.” When she got the job, according to her resume, she was working in customer service at a pharmacy and had also worked at a coffeehouse. She wrote on her resume that she obtained a natural science degree from Oklahoma Baptist University. The letter and resume were posted on Twitter by Oklahoma television reporter Emily Collins.
3. Authorities Set Up a Sting to Allegedly Catch Hunter Day in the Act
The Sheriff’s Department says it wanted more evidence in the case and, thus, a sting was set up to catch the teacher in the alleged act. “During the course of the phone examination, investigators determined Day and the under aged boy had already had sexual intercourse, and that additional plans had been made to meet at her residence on Wednesday afternoon to have sex again,” the release said.
“This is a classic case of a serious breach of public trust. School teachers are entrusted to protect and educate our children, not to engage in an unlawful sexual relationship with them,” said Chris West, Canadian County Sheriff. To catch the teacher in the alleged act, authorities pretended to be the boy and used his cell phone to call the teacher.
With the information that “a prearranged meeting was already in place, investigators using the boy’s cell phone contacted Day acting as if they were him, and asked if the meeting was still on. Day replied ‘yes,’ and indicated that he should hurry up and get there before her husband got home from work,” the release contended.
4. When Officers Showed Up at the Home, They Allegedly Found Day Sitting With the Lights Off & Candles Lit
Officers went to Day’s residence to continue the sting operation. “Once at the residence, Investigators sent a text message to Day from the boy’s cell phone, and said ‘I’m here.’ Day responded ‘the doors unlocked as usual.’ Investigators opened the door and found Day sitting on the living floor with the lights turned off, candles lit, and wearing a T-shirt and workout shorts,” reported the Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators “identified themselves, and told Day why they were there. Day fully cooperated, and admitted to having an illegal sexual relationship with the boy. She also admitted to sending bra and panty pics, and that she had received photos of the boys genitalia,” the release said. The county in Oklahoma has not had another teacher sex case. “While this is the first school teacher the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office has arrested for having sex with a student, their Internet Crimes Against Children unit has arrested many other people working in positions of public trust, including members of law enforcement, fire fighters, and even the clergy,” said the sheriff’s release.
“I’m no longer surprised by the people who commit these crimes, because predators come from all walks of life,” said West. Day was taken into custody and “transported to the Canadian County jail, where she was booked on the charges of Rape in the Second Degree, Possession of Child Pornography, and Soliciting Sex From a Minor Using Technology. Her bond was set eighty five thousand dollars,” according to the release.
5. Multiple Female Teachers in the United States Have Been Accused of Sex-Related Allegations
Hunter Day is but the latest female teacher to be caught up in a sex crime investigation. Among other recent cases: Loryn Barclay, a former substitute teacher at a Missouri High School, was accused of having sexual contact multiple times with a 17-year-old boy. Shawnetta Reece, a gym teacher from Georgia, was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old boy.
Tracy Miller, a West Virginia teacher, was accused of sending nude photos to students. Nataly Lopez, a 27-year-old former substitute teacher at a middle school in New Jersey, was accused of having sexual contact with a student. Lindsey Jarvis, a 27-year-old middle school teacher’s aide, was accused of the rape and sodomy of a student who was under the age of 16. Jarvis was arrested in Fayette County, Kentucky, on June 16. Then there’s Laura Ramos. She is a 31-year-old Connecticut high school teacher who is accused of having sex with a special education student. And there’s Tiffany Geliga.