OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A probable cause affidavit is revealing more details after a staff member at Deer Creek Public Schools (DCPS) was taken into custody Friday for alleged ‘inappropriate communication’ with a student.
“Teachers are put into a position of trust and we’re trusting them with our children,” said Aaron Brilbeck, a spokesman for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. “To betray that trust, that’s what’s so concerning about this type of thing… We’re working with the school right now to find out just how far this went.”
According to the report, 23-year-old Sarah Hull-Degroat had been communicating with a 15-year-old since at least October 2022 via Google Docs.
“This essentially allowed each party to communicate in written form within a shared document between the two of them,” said the affidavit. “The content of their recent communication is sexual in nature and describes sexual acts they hope to experience with each other.”
The report goes on to say Hull-Degroat also added a topless photo of herself to the document so the minor could see it.
DCPS officials say the inappropriate contact was discovered by the district’s network monitoring system.
A spokeswoman for the district explained to KFOR how the system works on Monday:
“The Deer Creek School District utilizes several proactive internet monitoring systems such as Bark and Lightspeed. Both of these internet safety solutions assist the district in monitoring for topics such as depression, self harm, suicidal thoughts, profanity, violence, explicit images, sexual content, internet predators and cyberbullying. Lightspeed also monitors web searches that have been conducted on district issued student devices. Administrators are alerted by email if any of the content crosses the alert threshold of those topics. These systems have allowed us to be proactive in helping students.”Lenis DeRieux, DCPS Assistant Superintendent
“So someplace in that path from person A to person and B, the security software was able to intercept what they were typing to each other,” explained Patrick Allmond, a social media expert.
Hull-Degroat was placed on administrative leave and taken into custody by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
“Our investigators are still looking into it and just trying to get a better handle on what exactly happened,” said Brilbeck.
DCPS says they are working closely with law enforcement while the investigation continues.