A Florida middle school teacher allegedly sent a student an X-rated photo on social media during what he dubbed “naked hot tub night,” authorities said.
Bill Burns French, 34, who teaches science at Oak View Middle School in Newberry, was busted Thursday and admitted to exchanging lewd Instagram messages with a student on Oct. 25, the Gainesville Sun reported.
After first sharing some jokes and chatting about sports, French allegedly turned the conversation sexual while writing it was “naked hot tub night” and sending the student a photo of his genitals, according to a sheriff’s arrest report obtained by the newspaper.
The student’s father later intercepted the sexually explicit messages and warned the eighth-grade teacher to stay away from his child, who deleted most of the Instagram conversation before the photo was shared, deputies said.
French “eventually admitted” to sending the photo while being read his rights. He was arrested Thursday and had been put on administrative leave earlier in the week, the Gainesville Sun reported.
French claimed that he dropped his cellphone in a toilet and that the device’s SIM card was removed and destroyed by his young daughter, but its damage didn’t back up that version of events, an arrest report shows.
The juvenile was a former student of French’s and detectives believe the explicit messages were an isolated incident, WCJB reported.
French, of Newberry, was charged with child cruelty and using a communications device during a felony. A judge set his bail Friday at $35,000 and French was no longer in custody Monday at the Alachua County Jail, online records show.
A phone listed in French’s name was no longer in service as of Monday afternoon and it’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney.