Burke County teaching assistant arrested

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A 22-year-old teaching assistant at a Burke County school for children with emotional and behavioral issues was arrested Thursday afternoon for her involvement in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student at the school.

Holly Whitfield, a paraprofessional at River Quest School, turned herself in and was charged with sexual assault, aggravated child molestation, enticing a child for indecent acts and sodomy. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible, according to a press release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Gene Sullivan, the executive director of the area's Regional Educational Service Agency, which oversees the school, said Whitfield was instantly fired from River Quest when the allegations surfaced on Wednesday. He said she will be referred to the Georgia Department of Family and Children's Services, as well as the Professional Standards Commission that issued her license.

"We are absolutely sick about this," Sullivan said. "We are very sorry this happened and we are doing all we can in light of the fact."

River Quest is a Georgia psycho-educational school that serves children in five counties.

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TrulyWorried 04/29/11 - 08:15 pm
Seems like she missed out on

Seems like she missed out on her "psycho-education" - what a sick mind.

corgimom 04/29/11 - 08:56 pm
I just cannot understand any

I just cannot understand any adult who would want a sexual relationship with a child.

Normal adults want to nurture and protect children. How anyone could engage in a relationship that they know- that they KNOW- will damage someone for the rest of their life, when they are too young to understand that kind of evil- is just astounding to me.

And on top of that, the children at that school have already struggled with life- and then she participates in damaging one of them even further.

Evil. Just plain evil.

Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 04/29/11 - 09:24 pm
KUDOS to Gene for taking

KUDOS to Gene for taking decisive action. We can rest assured that he and his staff will cooperate fully in the criminal and administrative investigations surrounding this unfortunate matter.

tanbaby 04/30/11 - 11:00 am
what in the H**L is wrong

what in the H**L is wrong with teachers these days????? having sexual relationships with children???????? sick sick sick......probably couldn't find an adult that wanted to have anything to do with her....

Sweet son
Sweet son 04/30/11 - 12:52 pm
tan, it has probably been

tan, it has probably been going on forever. Kinda like in the Roman Catholic priest scandal. Now, more people are willing to come forward with cases like this. Yes, it is sick bordering on child pornography

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