A Florida middle school teacher resigned on Monday and was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly having an affair with a 14-year-old student. Stephanie Peterson, 26, also known as Stephanie Ferri, is accused of having a sexual relationship with an eighth grader at New Smyrna Beach Middle School, and sending him nude pictures, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office said in an announcement that detectives believe the relationship started back in November. They found out about it after the boy told his parents about the alleged affair. The Sheriff’s Office says he told them that Peterson would pick him up outside his home late at night and bring him back around 1 or 2 in the morning, and that she told him he couldn’t tell anyone about their relationship.
“The parents got wind of it, and they confronted the teacher about breaking off the relationship, Sheriff Mike Chitwood told local News 6. “We believe sometime in January, they either resumed or continued the relationship. At that point, the family came to the police.”
Chitwood said Peterson allegedly sent nude pictures to the student over Snapchat and Instagram.
The student also claimed that Peterson provided him with marijuana and bowls for smoking it, authorities say. Chitwood said that Peterson was the boy’s teacher last year when he was in seventh grade, and that he served as her teacher’s aide this year.
Peterson was arrested on two counts of lewd or lascivious battery and one count of transmission of harmful materials to a minor. Volusia County records show that as of Thursday morning, Ferri was still in custody with bond set at $25,000.
[Image via Volusia County Sheriff’s Office]