Teacher linked with student, 18, resigns
By Hugh G. Willett, news@knoxnews.com

LENOIR CITY - A Lenoir City High School teacher has resigned because of an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old student, a school official said.

School Superintendent Wayne Miller said agriculture teacher Rachel Burkhart acknowledged the inappropriate relationship and resigned Thursday. Burkhart, a Greenback native, is 25 years old and had been teaching at the high school for two years, Miller said.

Miller said he first learned from another teacher that Burkhart had "become involved" with a male senior at the high school. He said the relationship was sexual in nature.

Lenoir City Police Chief Don White said the department is not investigating because the student was 18 during the time covered by the allegations.

Miller said he reported the incident to state child protective services and state education officials.

"I do intend to pursue the revocation of her teacher's license," Miller said.

"When an incident such as this happens, it undermines the foundation of what every teacher should stand for," Miller stated in a press release.

LENOIR CITY, Tenn (WVLT) -- A teacher in Lenoir City has resigned amid allegations she had an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old male student.

Lenoir City School Superintendent Wayne Miller says the teacher, Rachael Burkhart, resigned after miller approached her about her alleged affair with an 18 year old student.

Miller clearly was not happy and it shows in a news news release, and plenty of other people are just as upset.

Lenoir City High School is the latest to see a teacher depart in a scandal. 25-year-old Rachael Burkhart resigned after being confronted with allegations she had an affair with the 18-year-old student.

Lenoir City parent Susie Heath says, "I'm outraged."

For parents like Heath, the idea of a high school teacher involved with a student is disturbing. It's forced her to talk to her own middle school daughter about it.

Heath says, "I talk to her about it now, about what's appropriate and what's inappropriate. I would hope that she'll never have to face something like that."

We took a look at Burkhart's employment file. She's worked at the high school for two years. Her record before this appears clean, with no allegations in the file. Superitendent Wayne Miller would not talk on camera. He did issue a letter with some strong words, saying:

"When an incident such as this happens, it undermines the foundation of what every teacher should stand for. It breaches the trust that teachers spend their entire career nurturing and offends everyone associated with education. It saddens me when one teacher has the ability to so negatively impact our community. I will continue to work diligently to assure this does not happen in the future and would like to assure all parents that any behavior such as this will not be tolerated within our schools."

Heather Jenkins, who has a brother at the high school now, says there's nothing new about this problem, but it's time for these incidents to stop.

Jenkins says, "A teacher ought to be the superior, they ought to know better."

Because the student is 18, Police Chief Don White says there are no criminal charges and no investigation.

We tried to contact Burkhart to give her a chance to respond, but she has not returned our call.