A middle school teacher from Florida was arrested on Thursday after she allegedly had sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy at a graduation party.
Leslie Bushart, 49, was a teacher at Lake Gibson Middle School near Lakeland, Florida. Bushart was attending a graduation party for the victim’s older sister on June 6 when the incident happened, according to a press release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Bushart told cops that she and the boy had walked away from the crowd, according to the Sheriff’s release.
“She attempted to smoke marijuana, but was so drunk that she couldn’t get it lit,” the release alleges. “At that point she began performing oral sex on the victim.”
Then, Bushard and the boy rejoined the party and the teacher talked about what had just happened.
“Bushart told another person at that party that she had just performed oral sex on the teenage victim,” the release says. “That person then informed the mother of the victim. The mother confronted Bushart, who then quickly left the party.”
Bushart allegedly then reached out to the victim’s mother on Facebook Messenger after the party and stated how she had been drunk at the party.
The parents then informed police and an investigation was opened on June 16.
Bushart is being held at the Polk County Jail on $15,000 bond. Bushart has been charged with one count of felony lewd battery and on Friday in a press conference, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd reiterated the charges against Bushart and said the victim’s mother was angry.
“You can imagine that she wasn’t too pleased with that set of circumstances,” Judd said.
Bushart has been a middle school reading teacher for 29 years — working at multiple schools around Polk County, Florida. The senior media coordinator for Polk County Public Schools, Jason Geary, tells The Ledger that Bushart has been placed on administrative leave. The school district has moved to terminate her employment.
According to court records, there is not an attorney authorized to speak on Bushart’s behalf.
As the case progresses, Sheriff Judd called Bushart’s alleged actions a “betrayal” and vows to prosecute her aggressively.
“Leslie Bushart victimized a teenage boy,” Judd said in the press release.
“She betrayed her profession, as well as her friends during what was supposed to be a very special day. There is technically one victim in this case, but the entire family and school community have suffered from this.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.