AVON LAKE, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I-Team has found a local teacher will not go to jail for allowing students to drink alcohol in her home, but she will not go back to her job.
Brooklyn High teacher, Amy Whited, walked out of Avon Lake Municipal Court with probation, a fine, and orders for community service. Investigators say she had students come over to her house in Lorain County, and at least two drank alcohol.
The I-Team revealed the investigation last winter when students started passing around a topless photo with the caption: “you better not be showing these.” Police in Avon and Brooklyn built the case, and they determined Whited is the woman in the photo. That led detectives to find out about the drinking.
Whited, 45, served as the foreign language department chair at Brooklyn High. She had been on paid leave for months as the case was investigated. Now, the superintendent says she has resigned.
In court, Whited told the judge, "I'd like to start by apologizing specifically to the victims in this case. This is a decision that was completely out of character with me as I've always aspired to behave in a morally upstanding way."
Parents alerted the I-Team to the photo after hearing about it from their kids and seeing it. Now the I-Team has obtained phone messages between students that were part of the police investigation. Among them, “…then we can all go to Amy’s together.” And, “she said we could spend the night there.” And, “she sent me nudes don’t tell anyone hahaha.”
Whited also added, "Since that weekend eight months ago, I've attended weekly counseling sessions. I have worked on personal issues that I have never dealt with from childhood.”
As Whited left court, the I-Team followed. A man with her tried blocking the door so that we couldn’t exit. She got into a waiting pick-up truck without commenting.
Her personnel file shows high marks for her job performance.
The Ohio Department of Education says this crime is not one that automatically blocks someone from teaching. But the state also will not say if it will now do an investigation regarding this teacher’s license.
No charges were ever filed against anyone for the photo although prosecutors did investigate that part of the case as well.
The prosecutor in Avon Lake says a sentence without jail time in a case like this is common for someone with no criminal record.
Also in court, Whited told the judge, "Throughout my counseling sessions, I've come to understand why I did what I did."