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Colorado middle school teacher kills herself amid student sex probe

May 12, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Colorado middle school teacher kills herself amid student sex probe

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Colorado middle school teacher Gretchen Krohnfeldt committed suicide as authorities were approaching her home to interrogate her about allegations that she had a sexual relationship with a male student.

The 47-year-old mother-of-three was placed on leave from her eighth-grade teaching position at Arvada’s Drake Middle School on Monday after the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office received a report alleging that she was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a student.

According to CBS Denver, a joint probe conducted by Arvada police and the sheriff’s office indicated that the purported physical relationship started when the boy — who is now a high schooler — attended Krohnfeldt’s school. Krohnfeldt and the student reportedly began meeting for trysts at her home.

In a letter sent to parents, officials refused to share any information about Krohnfeldt’s death. Mental health counselors were available to students on Wednesday and will be present for the remainder of the week.

“Our hearts go out to her family, and many will feel this loss deeply,” the statement released by Drake Middle School stated. “We are not sure what support would help the family right now, but if they convey any needs, we will share that information.”

Gretchen Krohnfeldt was pronounced dead at her residence on Tuesday afternoon. The cause of death is still pending, Dan Pruett, chief deputy coroner for the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office, reported.

Drake Middle School’s website no longer includes Krohnfeldt’s name on its staff list, but the woman was previously listed as a language arts teacher. Her teacher profile was taken down on Wednesday, the Arvada Press reportedly. She had been teaching in the district for over two decades.

Meanwhile, a psychologist told KUSA that teacher-student relations could have long-term impacts on students, regardless of their gender.

Gretchen Krohnfeldt, 47, a teacher at Drake Middle School in Arvada, Colorado killed herself amid a student sex probe

“People don’t realize male victims are just as negatively affected as female victims, so they have the same kind of mental health issues: post-traumatic stress, eating disorders, problems with their relationships,” Max Wachtel said.

The juvenile victim can often be confused with the notion that the relationship is harmful and illegal, he added.

“At the moment, they do not think of themselves as a victim,” Wachtel continued. “They think that they are in love, and don’t think that they are being taken advantage of. It’s not until later on that some of the problems hit.”

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