A Shelbyville middle school teacher is accused of having sexual relations with students and giving them alcohol and marijuana, police said.
Bethany Appleton, 28, of Shelbyville, was arrested following an investigation by the Indiana Department of Child Services.
Investigators said that Appleton had sexual relations with at least one student at her residence while providing the student or students with alcohol and marijuana.
The investigation also found that Appleton drank and smoked marijuana with the students in incidents that occurred between April 2011 and May 2012, police said.
Shelbyville Central Schools Superintendent David Adams released a statement Wednesday concerning Appleton's arrest.
"Shelbyville Central Schools has been informed of an ongoing investigation by the Shelbyville Police Department concerning the conduct of one of our teachers. SCS is cooperating fully with the police in the investigation," Adams said. "SCS holds its teachers to a high standard of conduct and takes these allegations very seriously."
Adams said Appleton is no longer employed by the district.
On her website through the school, Appleton said she had been teaching students with "mild disabilities" since 2007.
"I love it here and I love what I am doing," she said in her bio. "I have always wanted to be a teacher and am so glad that I have the opportunity to work with so many great teachers and students."
Parents were shocked by the allegations.
"I don't think it's right," said parent Jerry Hobbs. "I mean, if she actually did it then she needs to be punished for it."
"I think that is, oh my God, that's wrong. I mean, teachers are there to teach and protect our children," said parent Sibyl Fox.
Appleton appeared in court Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty. She is expected back in court Oct. 3.
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