• 24-year-old Iowa teacher arrested for sexual relationship with 17-year-old high school student
  • She said school officials essentially turned a blind eye so as not to shame their school
  • She also blamed her previous abusive relationships for the fiasco

UNITED STATES – A female substitute teacher in Iowa has blamed officials of the school where she was formerly assigned for essentially turning a blind eye to her months-long sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student.

According to 24-year-old Mary Beth Haglin, officials of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids knew about her prolonged inappropriate relationship with the minor but did nothing because they didn’t want to bring shame to their school.

“These people all knew what was going on, and yet they turned a blind eye because they wanted to protect their school. They didn’t want it to get into the limelight,” she told The Gazette.

Haglin was arrested last week on charges of statutory rape and could face up to two years in prison as well as 10 years of being a registered sex offender if found convicted.

She and the 17-year-old’s first sexual encounter took place in October 2015. After that, their trysts happened regularly even after she was fired in May 2016 and the subsequent criminal investigation.

School officials began investigating Haglin in February 2016 after rumors of the relationship surfaced at the time. While the probe was temporarily shelved after she and the student denied it, the investigation again picked up in April after a video of them together went viral.

The agency who contracted Haglin to the school also drew flak from not immediately removing her from its roster of substitute teachers; allowing her to apply to other schools shortly after she was fired.

Haglin, who is currently out on bail, said while she will face the consequences of her actions, also pointed to her past abusive relationships as a factor for her indiscretion.

“Previous abusive relationships led me into this,” she said. “The environment the school put me in didn’t help to curb anything.”