PLAINWELL, Mich. – A teacher at Plainwell High School was arrested on Thursday afternoon and is expected to be charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct and Obstruction of Justice. It’s in connection with an alleged relationship with a student.
FOX 17 discovered that the teacher arrested is Kelly Laker. According to the Plainwell High School website, Laker is a special education teacher at the high school and chair of the special education department. He has worked for Plainwell Schools for more than 15 years. It is still unclear though if the alleged relationship was with one of his students.
On Friday evening, parents were notified of this situation via email and voice mails. According to the message, allegations against Laker came to light back in mid March. Laker was immediately put on administrative leave. But parents in the school district were not notified about the situation until Friday.
“We’re all kind of like a big family here and it never occurred to me that anything like this would happen at my school,” said Kourtney Centers, a junior at the high school. “I’ve grown up with these people, I’ve known these people, I’ve trusted all of them and this never seemed to be an issue to worry about or anything you would think of, it’s just crazy to hear about.”
Centers says she has seen Laker around school, and that he seemed like a nice teacher.
Laker is expected to be arraigned Monday in Allegan County Court.
Here is the email that was sent out to parents:
Dear Parents and Community Members,
We would like to inform you of an incident that has recently occurred in our district.
On March 15, 2013, a Plainwell High School teacher was placed on an immediate administrative leave pending an investigation into misconduct with a student. At that time, the district reported the alleged misconduct to both Plainwell Public Safety and Child Protective Services. We have continued to maintain close communication with the authorities throughout the entire investigation. The investigation led to the arrest of the teacher who has been charged with a felony. As this is an active criminal case, we ask that you help protect all parties by speaking with your student to not engage in spreading gossip or degradation of any party and allow the legal system to work its course.
Our first priority is the safety and welfare of our students and we are deliberate in our actions in order to ensure their well-being. This alleged conduct will not be tolerated anywhere in Plainwell Community Schools. Know that the district has taken a strong stance regarding this case. We remain committed to providing your student a safe and secure environment.
Sincerely, Susan Wakefield