A middle school teacher in Colorado killed herself as cops were approaching her home to question her about allegations she had an inappropriate relationship with a male student, relatives say.
Gretchen Krohnfeldt, a 47-year-old mother of three, was placed on leave from her eighth-grade teaching position at Drake Middle School in Arvada on Monday after a report to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office claimed she was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a student, CBS Denver reports.
A joint investigation by Arvada police and the sheriff’s office revealed that the alleged physical relationship began when the boy — who is now in high school — attended Krohnfeldt’s school. Krohnfeldt and the student allegedly met for trysts at her home in Arvada, sources told the station.
In a letter sent home to parents at the school, officials declined to share any details about Krohnfeldt’s death. Mental health counselors were provided to students at the school on Wednesday and will be available for the rest of the week.
“Our hearts go out to her family at this painful time, and I know many will feel this loss deeply,” the statement released by Drake Middle School read. “We are not sure what type of support would help the family right now, but if they convey any needs we will share that information as well.”
Krohnfeldt was pronounced dead at her home Tuesday afternoon, the Denver Post reports. The cause of death is pending, according to Dan Pruett, chief deputy coroner for the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office.
The website for Drake Middle School no longer contains Krohnfeldt’s name on its staff list, but the mother of three had been previously listed as a language arts teacher there. Her teacher page was removed on Wednesday, according to the Arvada Press. She had been teaching in the district since 1993, KUSA reports.
Meanwhile, a psychologist told the station that teacher-student relationships can have a long-lasting impact on students, regardless of their gender.
“People don’t realize that the male victims, the boys are just as negatively affected as the girls, the female victims, so they have the same kind of mental health issues in life: post-traumatic stress, eating disorders, problems with their own relationships,” Max Wachtel told the station.
The juvenile victim can often be confused about the fact that the relationship is unhealthy and illegal, he said.
“In the moment, a lot of times they do not think of themselves as a victim,” Wachtel said. “They think that they are in love too, and don’t think that they are being taken advantage of. It’s not until later on that some of the major problems hit.”
Date Posted: Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 , Total Page Views: 2401
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