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Court date set for former Athens ISD teacher accused of relationship with student

Kaitlynn Kirkland (Source: Henderson County Jail)
Kaitlynn Kirkland (Source: Henderson County Jail)(Henderson County Jail)
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 2:15 PM CDT
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ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - During a pre-trial hearing Wednesday, the judge set the court date for Kaitlynn Kirkland, a former Athens ISD teacher who is accused of having an improper relationship with a student, and added conditions to her bond.

Kaitlynn Kirkland, 25, of Athens, was originally charged with improper relationship between an educator and a student and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. She was booked into the Henderson County Jail on July 17, 2020, and she was released later that day after she posted bail on a collective bond amount of $14,500.

Kirkland appeared in Judge Scott McKee’s 392nd Judicial District Court for a pretrial hearing Wednesday.

During the hearing, McKee set Kirkland’s court date for Nov. 10 at 1:30 p.m.

Later, McKee added conditions to Kirkland’s bond. The judge said Kirkland is banned from having any further contact with the alleged victim. McKee also told Kirkland to “stay off social media”

According to a statement Athens ISD released after McKee turned herself into police, AISD administrators were made aware of the allegations in November of 2019.

“The district immediately cooperated with law enforcement, and Child Protective Services was contacted,” the AISD statement said. “Kirkland was placed on leave Nov. 21, and she submitted her resignation the same day. AISD also reported the alleged conduct to the State Board for Educator Certification.”

The statement also said that Athens ISD officials believe that the student identified in the investigation was the only student involved.

Then-Athens Police Chief Buddy Hill said the case was initially reported in November 2019. He said the report alleged a high-school student had a relationship with Kirkland. Police sent physical evidence to a lab.

Hill said the lab results pointed to an inappropriate relationship between Kirkland and the student.

Hill said the tampering charge comes from Kirkland trying to “make inaccessible” evidence that pointed to her involvement with the student.

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