A high school teacher in New Jersey accused of sending X-rated photos to a student is now out of a job. The Ewing Board of Education has terminated its contract with 25-year-old English teacher Chelsea Hahn. She had been suspended after her arrest last month.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Hahn Allegedly Targeted a 17-Year-Old Student
Chelsea Hahn is not accused of having an intimate physical sexual relationship with the student. But she is accused of trying to start one. Police say the young teacher texted the teenager nude photographs of herself and asked him to have sex with her.
NJ.com is also reporting that she allegedly kissed the boy on the lips in her classroom. The student reportedly alerted the police to the text messages and the photos. The school district has not disclosed whether the student was in one of Hahn’s classes.
2. Hahn Was Suspended Immediately After the June Arrest
The Ewing School District banned Hahn from school property immediately after her arrest and placed her on administrative leave. Her employment contact with the school was terminated effective June 30th.
The Trentonian published a statement put out by school Superintendent Michael Nitti and high school principal Edward Chmiel. It reads, “We are disappointed to inform you that a Ewing High School teacher was arrested and charged with criminal offenses by the Ewing Township Police Department and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for endangering the welfare of a student.
We have the highest expectations for professional behavior on the part of our staff and the well-being of our students is our foremost concern. Please know that we handled this matter professionally and cooperated fully with relevant law enforcement officials as soon as we became aware of this situation.”
3. Hahn Faces 10 Years Behind Bars if Convicted
Police charged Hahn with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child through sexual contact, which is a second-degree offense. According to New Jersey law, this charge is applied as such:
“Any person having a legal duty for the care of a child or who has assumed responsibility for the care of a child who engages in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Any other person who engages in conduct or who causes harm as described in this paragraph to a child is guilty of a crime of the third degree.”
If convicted, the potential punishment for second-degree child endangerment is 5-10 years in prison.
Heavy.com spoke with a representative at the Mercy County Superior Court in the criminal division. There will be a case review on August 15th, and the case is still in the complaint stage. Hahn has not yet put in an official plea. It is unclear whether she is required to appear before the judge on August 15th, or if her attorney will appear without her.
4. Hahn Taught Seniors and Sophomores at Ewing High School
Chelsea Hahn began working at Ewing High School in April of 2017 as a substitute teacher. She was reportedly appointed as a certified replacement English teacher beginning in September of 2017. According to her LinkedIn page, Hahn taught English to seniors and sophomores. She also taught mythology and drama through literature. She described herself as a long-term substitute teacher.
Prior to joining the staff at Ewing, Hahn was a substitute teacher at schools in Robbinsville and West Windsor-Plainsboro, New Jersey. She says she graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2016 with degrees in secondary education and English. She also obtained a minor in women and gender studies.
Hahn also indicated on her LinkedIn profile that she wanted to leave teaching behind. She wrote, “I’ve been working in the education field for the past few years, but I am looking to branch out and work in a company in order to write, research, and revise.”
5. Hahn Also Attended Ewing High School as a Student
Teaching at Ewing High School would have been like coming home for Hahn. According to her LinkedIn profile, she graduated from high school there in 2011.
The Trentonian obtained school records that revealed her salary. Hahn was earning $44,500 but apparently received a $4,000 raise after earning a higher degree. Hahn received a Master’s of Arts in English from the College of New Jersey in 2017.