OKLAHOMA CITY - Police have identified a Putnam City High School teacher accused of sending inappropriate messages to a student.
On Monday, officials with the Putnam City Public School District announced a teacher at Putnam City High School was under investigation in the case.
The allegations first came to light on Thursday, Oct. 18.
“A teacher at Putnam City High School is being investigated by police regarding allegations of inappropriate messages sent through social media to a student at the school. The allegations first surfaced on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 18. There was no school Thursday or Friday, but the principal met with the teacher Friday morning. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave. By state law and district policy as part of effort to provide a safe learning environment, all school employees are required to have a clear background check before employment. The employee involved in this situation complied with the policy. This is a situation that must be fully addressed, but not one that defines the character of our teachers or our district. The district believes that a fundamental responsibility of every educator is to make sure students are safe, respected and protected. Any failure to do so is contrary to everything the teaching profession stands for. Right now this case is a matter for the legal system. The district’s job is to cooperate with and respect the integrity of the investigation,” a statement from Putnam City Public Schools read.
The victim, a 14-year-old student told police on October 19 that she and special education teacher, and 9th grade basketball coach, Marcus Quinn, had been talking on Instagram about sex and sending naked pictures to each other.
When questioned by police, Quinn said that he "might have said some things to her that were sexual in nature, but that she had instigated it."
He admitted to police that one time during summer "he had been drinking and got a little carried away," a police report states. He told police the girl was lonely and that when she "talked sexual stuff, he did not want to make her feel bad about herself so he went along with it."
Quinn says he tried blocking the girl, but she allegedly continued to talk to him.
The victim told police she blocked Quinn, and that he kept talking to her by allegedly creating a different screen name each time.
He was arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County jail for lewd or indecent acts/proposals to a child under 16 years of age, soliciting sexual conduct with a minor by use of technology and obscene or indecent writings/solicitation of a minor under 16.
Quinn has been placed on administrative leave as the investigation is ongoing.
Authorities say teachers interacting with students online can be risky.
"Any time you get into a social media context with a student, you open yourself up for all kinds of bad things to happen," said Chief Mark Stout with Putnam City Campus Police.
The situation was reported to police through the school's anonymous anti-bullying system. Advocates say this is a step in the right direction.
"We need to create cultures within our schools where children know what to do if this happens to them and I think an anonymous reporting line is an excellent way to do that," said Amanda Kemp, with the YWCA's violence prevention and response team.