Eddie Black is the Lancaster High School teacher in Ohio is has been accused of having sex with a student between 2003 and 2005. The victim was 16 years old at the time the alleged abuse began. The charges against Black were announced on August 9, reported NBC Columbus. The station says that the first allegations against Black came on April 25, 2018, a press release from the Fairfield County Prosecutor’s Office said. Black was arraigned on August 6 and charged with sexual battery. She was released on a $30,000 unsecured bond.
According to Black’s Facebook page, she is a mother and is originally from Bergholz, Ohio, having lived for a time in Wiesbaden, Germany. A profile for Black on the Lancaster High School website details that she is a tenth grade English teacher. Black says she has lived in the area since 1990 and has been teaching at Lancaster since 1999. Black is a graduate of both Muskingum University and the University of Saint Mary, where she attained a Master’s. Black writes, “I am married and I have a son who attends Medill Elementary.”
School superintendent Steve Wigton told NBC Columbus that Black had previously been married to a graduate of Lancaster High School. 10TV reports that the student Black was married to is the victim who is accusing Black. The Lancaster Eagle Gazette reports that Black and the student were divorced in July 2013. The Gazette’s report details that police investigating Black were presented with notes, letters and a card that was written by Black to the student.
Black maintains a Twitter account under the handle, BeABookworm. In the bio section, Black writes that she is a “world traveler, aspiring author and bookfest addict. #BergholzGirl.”
NBC Columbus says that Black has been placed on administrative leave and “will not be returning to the classroom.” An August 15 board meeting will decided if Black is to be fired. Speaking to the Gazette, Fairfield County Prosecutor Kyle Witt said, “The law in Ohio with respect to teacher-student relationships is very clear. Teachers may not engage in sexual conduct with students regardless of age, gender, or circumstances. We will prosecute this and any other case where the evidence suggests such took place. All agencies involved recognized the importance of taking prompt action, not only purposes of prosecution but also to insure the safety of students.”
Anybody with any information in the case is asked to call the Lancaster Police Department on 740-687-6680.
Slate reported that female educators make up 4 percent of convicted rapists in teacher/student scandals in 2006. While in 2016, former Department of Education chief of staff, Terry Abbott, wrote in the Washington Post that teacher/student sex scandals were on the rise. For example, in Kentucky in 2011, the state saw the number of teacher/student sexual relationships nearly double.
In November 2016, Texas State Representative Tony Dale sought to pass legislation that would prevent, as Dale says, teachers merely resigning and moving. Dale said of his legislation, “HB 218 increases penalties and close loopholes that allow educators who engage in inappropriate relationships to resign and obtain employment in another district. This bill seeks to allow Texas the tools we need to get rid of teachers who prey on our children.”