High school teacher jailed after accusations of lewd conduct with student

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — A 45-year-old high school teacher was arrested on a felony charge after accusations of engaging in inappropriate lewd conduct with a teen student, according to an arrest affidavit released Tuesday afternoon.

Christopher Ward Hixon, of the 3100 block of Southwest Blackmur Street in Port St. Lucie, was arrested Monday on a charge related to an authority figure soliciting or engaging in lewd conduct with a student.

A teen girl told St. Lucie County sheriff’s officials Monday she attends Fort Pierce Westwood Academy. She said in October or November her math teacher approached her in class and whispered inappropriate comments in her ear.

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She reported they eventually communicated via an application used by teachers and students, switching to Twitter “because they began talking about sexual acts,” an affidavit states.

The girl disclosed a number of inappropriate exchanges. She said Hixon initiated the conversations.

Much of Hixon’s statements to investigators was redacted in his arrest affidavit.

“The suspect (Hixon) denied being physical with the victim,” an affidavit states.

He also denied whispering in the girl’s ear.

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In a news release, Sheriff Ken Mascara stated, “In this case, it appears that this teacher may have been grooming the student through inappropriate conduct both in school and online through social media for future sexual encounters.”

Hixon was hired in August 2016 through June 2017, and was re-hired in July 2019, according to Lydia Martin, chief communications officer with St. Lucie Public Schools.

“He will be placed on a temporary duty assignment away from students while the investigation is underway,” Martin stated via email. “These allegations, if proven, are a serious breach of ethics. Such behavior is inexcusable and is of great concern to the School District as it is contrary to our mission to provide a safe and caring teaching and learning environment.”

Hixon was held Tuesday in the St. Lucie County jail on $50,000 bond, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

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Will Greenlee is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm. Follow Will on Twitter @OffTheBeatTweet or reach him by phone at 772-267-7926. E-mail him at will.greenlee@tcpalm.com

This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Fort Pierce Westwood Academy teacher jailed after alleged lewd conduct