Authorities in Texas have filed criminal charges against a 32-year-old teacher accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old female student.
An arrest warrant obtained by PEOPLE confirms the allegations against Whitney Laidlaw, a married middle school dance teacher.
Laidlaw, who lives in Houston, teaches hip-hop dancing at the Cornerstone Academy in Houston, states the warrant. Laidlaw was placed on leave after officials at the Spring Branch Independent School District learned of her arrest.
The warrant alleges that the inappropriate relationship began at the end of the school year and carried on throughout the summer. The alleged victim was one of Laidlaw’s students, the warrant explains.
Laidlaw, according to the warrant, exchanged numbers with the 14-year-old alleged victim, and told her in a text “she had feelings” for the girl.
Investigators allege Laidlaw started arranging meetups with the teen which quickly became physical. The warrant indicates Laidlaw allegedly kissed, fondled, and performed oral sex on the alleged victim.
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Police further allege Laidlaw sent the teen a number of illicit photos of herself.
None of the alleged encounters occurred on school property. Instead, they allegedly took place inside the girl’s home after her mother left for work or inside Laidlaw’s car.
“We are outraged by this alleged conduct,” reads a statement from the Spring Branch Independent School District. “The safety of every SBISD student is our very highest priority, and having a strong moral compass is a key district core value.”
The parents of the alleged victim notified police only recently, after finding the explicit texts and photographs.
Laidlaw has been charged with sexual assault of a child and improper relationship with a student. She is due in court Friday to enter pleas to the two counts.
Efforts to reach Laidlaw were unsuccessful Friday. It was unclear if she has retained an attorney.
The Houston Police Department asks that anyone with any information pertinent to this case call them at (832) 394-5500.