A female employee with the Phenix City Board of Education has been accused of sexually assaulting a juvenile student, according to authorities.
Officials said Jeannie Shiver, 37, was arrested around 3 p.m. today and charged with engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student under the age of 19.
Phenix City Police Chief Ray Smith said the Department of Human Resources informed authorities on March 3 about an inappropriate relationship between Shiver and an underage student.
“It appears the school may have had information as early as February,” he said. “There is information that the employee had been warned to stay away from the student sometime in February, but that information was not made known to law enforcement until March. We’re still investigating that part of it.”
Police said the school went as far as to issue a warning letter to Shivers, but officials still aren’t sure what information the school had that warranted that letter.
Under Alabama law, school officials are among the individuals mandated to report possible child abuse to law enforcement “immediately” after there is reasonable cause to believe a child has been abused.
Randy Wilkes, the superintendent of Phenix City schools, addressed the allegations made against Shiver in an email sent to the Ledger-Enquirer Wednesday evening.
“We take such allegations very seriously,” he wrote. “... This type of behavior is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the Phenix City Board of Education.”
Wilkes said he was made aware of the alleged incident Friday and they immediately reported it to law enforcement. He said the school district has fully cooperated with authorities throughout this investigation and they will continue to do so.
"We handled it right then and there," Wilkes said. "…We acted appropriately and in a timely fashion."
Wilkes declined to comment further on Shiver’s employment status with the school district.