Texas High School Teacher Commits Suicide After Alleged Sex with Student
Forty-seven-year-old Mark Lampman, a former high school teacher in Texas, shot himself dead on May 7 following allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a student. The suicide came only one day after Lampman stepped down from his teaching position at Permian High School, according to the Daily Mail.
Lampman's body was found in an open field in West Odessa. The Odessa American reported that the teacher died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the chest.
The previous day, he had reportedly been questioned by authorities about an improper relationship with a female student.
Lampman allegedly taught at Permian High for over 17 years. He taught classes in government and was also the assistant golf coach for the girls' team.
About 2,300 students are currently enrolled at Permian High School. The school is famous for being the inspiration of the popular book Friday Night Lights and the subsequent television show of the same name.
Lampman is the fifth teacher to be accused of having sexual relations with a student during the last year; the other four suspects were all female teachers.
The Daily Mail reported that a physical education teacher at the high school, Alisha Carrasco Knighten, stepped down from her position just last week after allegations that she had sexual conduct or intercourse with a student.
Earlier this month, another unnamed teacher resigned for alleged sexual contact with a student.
In 2013, Kathryn Maples and April Collins, both employed by Permian High, also resigned over similar accusations. Maples also reportedly sent sexually explicit photos to a student. Both Maples and Collins face up to 20 years in prison, according to the Daily Mail.
Following the most recent alleged sex scandal involving Lampman, the Ector County Independent School District (ECISD) released a statement that said, "Our ECISD family is deeply saddened by the events that unfolded. The remaining days and weeks of the school year will be very difficult at Permian High School. In an immediate response there will be crisis counselors available to all students and faculty members tomorrow and Friday. We know and understand emotions are raw, and we have seen a number of very inappropriate and hateful posts to social media sites this evening."
It continued, "Out of respect for the families involved in this tragedy, we are urging everyone to remove all angry messages from all accounts and refrain from posting any more. This type of dialogue is not helpful, nor is it healing. We consider ourselves part of the same team – the same family – and we must work together to get through a difficult time like this."
ECISD spokesman Mike Adkins said in a subsequent statement, "Another allegation of this sort is alarming and disappointing. The school district provides training to address this issue each year, and we plan more in the future. Our teachers are hired to teach, support, and inspire our students to great achievement and it is unacceptable to an educator to cross the line from professional to personal relationship. We are glad these allegations are being reported, and we investigate every report that comes to us. We will do everything in our power to address this immediately."
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.