Teacher arrested on charges of sexual assault, blackmail

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Robert Blankenship, who most recently worked at Star Spencer High School, has been arrested for incidents that allegedly happened at Wellston High School.

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LINCOLN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) - A teacher who most recently worked at Star Spencer High School has been arrested for incidents that happened at Wellston High School.

Robert Blankenship is charged with sexual assault and blackmail. According to court documents, he started a relationship with a female student after she went through something traumatic and began to confide in him.

Around Christmas 2018, the relationship got physical, with Blankenship allegedly inappropriately touching the teen while in a locked classroom.

Investigators say at some point, an argument between the two led to Blankenship allegedly threatening he would expose her traumatic event if she told anyone about the relationship.

Blankenship left Wellston Public Schools in December 2019. The district would not comment on whether he was fired or resigned or if they knew about the incident before his departure.

They released this statement: “Wellston Public Schools is cooperating with law enforcement officials and the district attorneys office concerning this matter. Wellston schools have no further comment at this time.”

Blankenship was hired at Star Spencer High School in the Oklahoma City Public School District in January on a temporary contract, before charges that would've shown up on a background check were filed.

The school district released a statement that reads in part: "OKCPS works to ensure state law and board policies are followed, and if violations are found, they are quickly addressed. Because this is a personnel issue, we cannot comment further at this time.”

Blankenship no longer works for Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Parents at Star Spencer say they're concerned about the news.

"It's scary. I didn't think it would happen at this school. I've heard other schools, but I never thought it'd be happening to my daughter's school," Tiffany Reed said.

Lincoln County District Attorney Allan Grubb says he wants to stop teachers who've behaved inappropriately from moving from one district to another.

"Many times the teacher's allowed to resign and they just move onto another school," he said. "What I'm trying to do is notify the state school board whenever we have a teacher being inappropriate with a student, so they can stop so we're not putting other children in jeopardy."

Blankenship's initial court appearance is scheduled for March 12.

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