A guidance counselor at Euclid High School has been charged following allegations that she had a sexual relationship with a student, police said.
According to Euclid Public Schools Superintendent Keith Bell, the school district opened an investigation after an anonymous phone call alleged the misconduct by the guidance counselor, identified by police as 36-year-old Ronetta Smith, of Cleveland Heights.
Police said that on Jan. 29, they were notified by Assistant Superintendent Charles Smialek of an allegation of sexual battery involving Smith and an 18-year-old student, whose identity will not be released.
School officials said Smith was initially placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, and the school immediately called police to assist.
A police investigation revealed that Smith engaged in an ongoing sexual relationship with the student in the beginning of December 2015. At the time of the offense, Smith was employed by the Euclid Board of Education as a Guidance Counselor at Euclid High School. Smith subsequently resigned from her position.
On Tuesday, police presented the case to a Cuyahoga County Grad Jury, and Smith was charged with four counts of sexual battery and one county of tampering with evidence.
"Whether it's consensual or not really isn't the issue," Bell said. "It was wrong and that's what we hang our hats on. It should not have occurred. Regardless of the age, it was inappropriate."
Read the Bell's full statement below:
“An anonymous phone call alleging misconduct by a member of our faculty led us to immediately open an investigation. We promptly placed this faculty member on administrative leave pending the outcome of our investigation. We also immediately called the Euclid Police Department to assist us. From that point, the Euclid Police Department became the lead investigator. We have acted upon their recommendations and notified the Ohio Department of Education of this issue. The faculty member has resigned and is not permitted on our campus. We will continue to cooperate with both the EPD and the ODE to determine the best course of action for our students and school. We continue to encourage all students, parents, staff, and community members to share concerns or threats of danger. If you see something or hear something that is wrong please call the Safe Line at 216-797-6998.”