Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart, 25, resigned from teaching and coaching for the Palestine Independent School District this week; the school board accepted her resignation.

Palestine school board members on Thursday accepted the resignation of Lauren Stewart, a junior high teacher and coach charged with inappropriate conduct with a high school student.

Stewart, 25, has been suspended without pay; her resignation will go into effect at the end of the current school year. She will no longer teach or coach for the Palestine Independent School District, PISD spokesperson Larissa Loveless told the Herald-Press Friday.

Stewart turned herself into the Palestine Police Department in late January, following allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a female Palestine High School student. Police took Stewart to the Anderson County Jail, where she was later released on bail.

Assisted by the Palestine Police Department, the school district investigated the matter. It suspended Stewart, after police reportedly found numerous inappropriate text messages between Stewart and the student.

Stewart is the daughter of PISD Safety Coordinator William Stewart.

The identity of the student has not been disclosed.

The incident came a year after allegations of another inappropriate relationship between a Palestine teacher, Samantha Woolverton, and a male student.

PISD officials said they will provide additional staff training on student communication and relationships. The district also encourages parents to monitor students' text messages and social media posts.

The district has zero-tolerance for staff members who participate in inappropriate relationships with students, Loveless said.

All suspects are to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

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