ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Rochester High School teacher who was fired for having a sexual relationship with students during after-school hours has been charged, sources tell 7 Action News.
We're told Kathryn Houghtaling has been charged with six counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct. She was a special needs teacher at the school.
According to a notice from Rochester Community Schools that was sent out Tuesday, Jan. 8, the teacher was fired following a district-led investigation.
Sources tell 7 Action News that the teacher is accused of having sex with two students in both an apartment and in a car.
“You expect the best when your student goes to school," said Lazette Parks, a parent. "Whatever she did, I’m quite sure the board did what they needed to do.”
Bart Fox lives in the same neighborhood as Houghtaling. He was shocked to learn of the allegations.
“Are you serious? And how many houses down,” Fox said.
Just seven houses down from where Fox lives, in an unusually quiet neighborhood in Sterling Heights, is where Kathryn Houghtaling lives.
"Astonished, like, I can't believe it,” he said.
7 Action News went to talk to Houghtaling at her home but no one was there.
According to a Tweet from Rochester High, Houghtaling was hired back in August 2018 to teach special education. Her now deleted Facebook shows the that the 26-year-old is married.
“That’s gross, that’s disgusting," Fox said. "I mean she should be embarrassed of herself.”
Fox added that he now worries about his daughter.
“My daughter, really she plays out here in the summer time with a whole bunch of kids from down the street," Fox said. "... like are they really safe?”
In a recent statement released by Superintendent Robert Shaner of Rochester Community Schools Thursday afternoon, Shaner states that Houghtaling will be arraigned Friday, Jan. 11 on charges of criminal sexual conduct.
He made a point to let families know that as soon as the district learned of Houghtalin's alleged behavior, an investigation was conducted.
Read Shaner's compelete statement below:
Today, the Rochester Community School District was notified by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office that former Rochester High School Teacher Kathryn Houghtaling will be arraigned Friday morning on charges of criminal sexual conduct. The charges are related to an alleged incident involving inappropriate conduct with students after school hours. As soon as the District learned of the alleged incidents on Tuesday, an investigation was conducted, which resulted in Houghtaling’s immediate termination. The safety and welfare of our students and staff is always our primary concern. We are thankful for our partnership with the Rochester Police Department, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, and our security consultants who provide us with the necessary guidance to make informed decisions. The District fully cooperated with law enforcement officials throughout the investigation. In order to protect the integrity of the criminal investigation process, the District did not publicly disclose any information that could have a negative impact on the case while the investigation was pending. Rochester Community Schools is committed to providing a safe, positive, and supportive learning environment for every student. District personnel are required to meet the highest standards of personal integrity, professionalism, and performance. Employees whose conduct or performance falls short of expectations will be subject to disciplinary action, or in this case, termination. All members of our school community will experience an environment where they are safe, valued, and respected. Our support staff of counselors, social workers and psychologists are available to provide ongoing support for students and staff who are struggling with processing this disturbing information. We also appreciate your support to encourage your son or daughter to talk to a trusted adult if they see, hear, or experience something that doesn’t seem right. They can also anonymously report information using OK2SAY at www.michigan.gov/ok2say.
The school district states that with the ongoing investigation, additional details regarding the incident cannot be shared, adding that it could have a negative impact on the investigation.