EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – A Deer Creek Public Schools (DCPS) teacher resigned about an hour before the district’s board meeting Monday to discuss her employment status following her arrest for alleged ‘inappropriate communication’ with a 15-year-old student.
“It didn’t really shock me to receive a resignation,” said Dr. Jason Perez, the DCPS Superintendent. “That’s just kind of how this goes sometimes.”
Sarah Hull-Degroat, 23, was taken into custody on Dec. 2 by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and placed on administrative leave by the district for allegedly sending sexual messages to a 15-year-old student 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 court records. “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.
“A teacher is not meant to be that kind of a friend. You know, they’re supposed to be a role model,” said Dr. Perez on Monday. “They’re supposed to be a mentor to the students and that’s the relationship we expect for all of our staff. Period.”
DCPS officials say the inappropriate contact was discovered by the district’s network monitoring system used to alert them of topics such as depression, self harm, suicidal thoughts, profanity, violence, explicit images, sexual content, internet predators and cyberbullying on district-issued student devices.
According to a search warrant, the two planned to meet on Friday, Dec. 2, which was the same day the school’s computer system alerted staff of the sexual messages and the same day Hull-Degroat was arrested.
“We’re all really thankful for these types of software programs,” said Dr. Perez. “I think that this definitely has has shown that that’s a very worthwhile tool for us here in Deer Creek.”
A spokeswoman for the district sent KFOR the following statement explaining their next steps in this situation:
“Sarah Hull-DeGroat submitted her resignation this evening prior to the school board meeting. The Board of Education will act on the resignation at the next scheduled board meeting.
The district will be requesting from the State Department of Education the revocation of Ms. Hull-DeGroat’s teaching certificate.
The district has been and will continue to work closely with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department regarding this matter.”LENIS DERIEUX, DCPS ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT