Acquitted teacher moving forward - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Acquitted teacher says she's moving forward

Nicole Howell Nicole Howell

By Kimberly Holmes - bio | email
Posted by Trina Edwards - email

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - A teacher who was fired from her job after being accused of having sex with a student says she is moving forward after she was acquitted of all charges.

Nicole Howell says her relationship with the 17-year-old student is over.

"The last time I saw him was in the courtroom and that will be the last time," she said.

Howell was acquitted on Oct. 16 of first degree sexual abuse. It was a high in nearly a year full of lows.

"I think that I got to that moment every time it took a turning point," she said. "So when I was suspended. And then when I was arrested. And then when I lost my job. And then when I was indicted."

She admitted that she texted and called the then-16-year-old student, but their relationship never reached a sexual level. In fact, Howell said she called and texted several of her students. Dayton High School did not have a police outlawing it.

"A lot of the times I texted any student, not just him, it was to let them know, I can come down to their level, I can understand where they're coming from, they can confide in me if need be," she said.

Howell stands by her texting habit, but admitted if the district had enforced some sort of texting limit, it might have saved her job.

"We don't think that, well, I myself, including a lot of other people I've spoken with, don't think that it's a bad idea to communicate if that's the only way to communicate," she said. "However, if there was maybe a limit, it would have prevented this from being an issue."

Right now, Howell is pursuing a career in banking, but hasn't ruled out teaching.

"I am about a year and a half away from getting my masters in education and I could teach at the college level, and I'm not sure there would be so many problems," she said.

Howell's attorney, Eric Deters, says they're considering suing the Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney and Dayton High School.

"We are going to file a federal civil lawsuit against any and all parties that we think are responsible," said Deters. "Who those are going to be, we don't know quite yet, but we're going to be very aggressive with that."

Deters says the paperwork probably won't be filed for another month or so.

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