News & Politics

Teacher Lowers Student's Grade Over Refusal to Have Sex

(Image via Cannon Detention Center)

Growing up, it wasn’t uncommon to hear females joking about using sex to get higher grades from teachers. I have no evidence nor any reason to believe that the joke was ever put into practice at my school. However, the myth prevailed so much at to become a meme before memes were an official thing. What was never considered was the possibility of teachers lowering the grades of students who refused to engage in sex with them. But that’s exactly what happened in Charleston, S. Carolina. A teacher is being sued by the parents of a student because she lowered his grades after the student refused to have sex with her.

Arrested in December 2017, Jennifer Danielle Olajire-Aro taught math classes and coached tennis at Burk High School in Charleston, where it’s alleged that she sexually groomed a male student and then punished him when he refused her advances. According to a lawsuit filed by the student’s parents:

In August 2017, while the student was enrolled in Aro’s math class, she began flirting with him and having conversations about sex with him before, during and after class, according to the lawsuit. The complaint goes on to say that she “encouraged and coerced” John Doe to engage in sexual intercourse with her at the school, in her personal vehicle, at her home and, on at least one occasion, in the presence of her 10-month-old baby. She also sent him inappropriate messages via phone and a social media text application, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit goes on to reveal that the times the student refused Aro’s requests for sexual activity, the teacher would threaten to lower his grade. The harassment got so bad that the student began skipping class to avoid the teacher.

In December 2017, after the student resisted her sexual advances, Aro “acted on her threat and changed Plaintiff John Doe’s math grade from a 98 to an 89,” according to the lawsuit. The student told his mother about the alleged multiple instances of sexual intercourse after his final grade had been entered for the fall 2017 semester. Aro was arrested on Dec. 19, three days before school let out for the winter holiday.

The lawsuit accuses the Charleston County School District “of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” Asserting that CCSD failed to properly train and monitor Aro, the parents are, “seeking a jury trial and a judgment for actual and compensatory damages, including medical and health care expenses.”