PHILADELPHIA (KYW) – A special education teacher in Philadelphia is accused of having an ongoing sexual relationship with a 14-year-old male student.
30-year-old Stephanie Amato covered her face as she left police headquarters Thursday morning, just after 4.
Amato is now free on bail, after she was arrested, and then arraigned on several charges including sexual contact with a minor, statutory sexual assault, and endangering the welfare of children.
Students and faculty walked into the Ethan Allen School in Mayfair on Thursday morning with a lot of questions, surrounding allegations Amato had a sexual relationship with a 14 year old student.
Amato is a special education teacher here, who has taught at the school for several years. Parents say it’s unsettling, if the accusations are true.
“You’re supposed to have that formal trust with teachers, she’s a grown up, there’s no reason for a grown up to be dealing with a kid in a sexual nature,” said Matthew Brown.
Yesterday, one parent said Amato worked with her oldest son years ago.
“It doesn’t seem like she was the type of person that would ever do something like that, she was a great teacher for him,” said Lori Hunt.
According to the district attorney’s office, Amato had an ongoing sexual relationship with one of her male students between march and April of this year. The alleged encounters happened in her car and her home.
The Philadelphia School District sent a letter home to parents on Monday, letting them know about the arrest.
“It is very disturbing, first of all. It’s something we take very seriously,” said Fernando Gallard of the Philadelphia School District.
The district says Amato will be suspended without pay.