Substitute teacher arrested for sexual assault
On Monday, March 20, substitute teacher Kristi Meek, 32, of Drew County was arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with an 18-year-old student.
Meek has been a substitute teacher at both the Monticello and Drew Central school district campuses. At the time, she was subbing at the district’s shared Alternative Learning Environment campus.
According to Monticello Police Chief Eddy Deaton, the sexual act did not take place on any school campus.
Although neither Deaton nor the superintendents at either school district knew exactly when, Meek made her first appearance in court where she was charged with sexual assault. Tenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Steven Porch set a bond amount at $7,500—and she has since bondeed out of jail.
“We contract for substitute teachers through an agency called SUBTEACH,” Monticello School District Superintendent Sandra Lanehart said. “We have learned of regrettable conduct by an employee of that company. We have notified that company to never send that individual again.
“Nothing is more important to us than student safety. If adults in schools in any capacity are having inappropriate relationships with students, I urge parents and patrons to tell me, so such allegations can be swiftly investigated and addressed.”
Meek was an employee of SUBTEACH USA. The Monticello and Drew Central districts use this outside company to obtain their substitute teachers, both superintendents explained. Meek was not a direct employee of either Monticello or Drew Central school district.
“Drew Central Schools has contracted our substitute teachers with SUBTEACH USA since 2012,” Drew Central School District Superintendent Billy Williams said. “All of SUBTEACH’s substitute teachers are required to pass a FBI and DHS background check, have earned a high school diploma, and be at least 21 years of age.
“Our administrators and teachers monitor the performance and behavior of the substitute teachers thru feedback from observation of the administrators, staff, parents and patrons. Our top priority for substitute teachers will always be their abilities to provide a safe student learning environment and to follow the teacher’s lesson plans. We urge parents and patrons to report any inappropriate behavior of substitute teachers, to the administration so the issue can investigated and acted upon quickly.”
A representative for SUBTEACH USA told the Advance-Monticellonian that Meek had been terminated and was not eligible for rehire.