To many of us, it doesn’t make sense when someone gives up a stable, even enviable situation in life for a chance at something else. Especially when it comes to romance, it can seem like an incredibly foolish thing, logically speaking.
But the heart wants what it wants. Over and over again, people are willing to put everything on the line to follow their desires, logic be damned. In storybook romances, it almost always works out. But in the real world, it can often lead to disastrous results.
Ever since she was a kid, Shannon had a pretty good idea of what she wanted to do in life. Her mother and three of her aunts were all teachers so, even from a very young age, she and her sister wanted to follow in those footsteps.
“For birthdays and Christmas, they asked for teaching supplies,” Shannon’s mother said. Between her and the three aunts, “they got plenty of charts and stickers.” After they finished high school, both Shannon and her sister attended Texas Christian University, their mother’s alma mater…
Teaching And Learning
After graduating in 2006 with a degree in education, Shannon immediately began teaching first grade in Southlake, Texas. At the same time as she was working there, she kept on investing in her education, completing a master’s of education in counseling degree, again at TCU.
It was during her time teaching in Southlake that she met Joe, the man who would eventually become her husband. Joe had moved to Texas to work as a teacher and wrestling coach at a nearby school district. By 2013, just a couple of years after he’d moved to the state, Joe and Shannon were married and living in the house he’d built…
The same year that they got married, Shannon left her job teaching first grade and began working as a counselor at Harwood Junior High School in Bedford, which was a step up both in terms of prestige as well as pay.
It seemed that everything was going great in Shannon’s life. She had a great career for herself in the field she loved with opportunities for upward mobility. She had a great husband who was also an educator, meaning he understood all of the things she faced day to day and he had the same summer vacation time. Things were going great…
The Other Guy
But there was one thing that happened during her time as a counselor that put Shannon’s ‘textbook’ good life at risk: she met Robbie. After years of marriage with Joe, Shannon was willing to throw everything away to be with this other guy, despite the consequences.
One Weird Thing
It wasn’t as if she had gone out of her way looking for romance outside of her marriage. In fact, when she’d first met Robbie through her work, romance was the last thing on Shannon Hathaway’s mind. But over the next few years, something developed between them that was too strong for her to ignore. It was the same story of adultery repeated countless times except for one thing: Robbie was one of her students…
Suspicions about there romantic “relationship” began to arise during the 2016-2017 school year when Robbie was In the 9th grade, though he’d been held behind a few times and was 17 years old at the time. They did their best to hide their relationship for obvious reasons but as you can imagine of a 17-year-old 9th grader and a 33-year-old who would date him, they didn’t go about things in the smartest way.
For one thing, they were spending a lot of time together in public. That would be strange enough on its own but suspicions were aroused even further when Robbie’s sister spotted him holding hands with Shannon a number of times. She was naturally creeped out by what she saw and reported it to the police…
Of course, there’s no law against holding hands with anyone and, although he was just a teenager, the age of consent in Texas is 17 years old. So despite the fact that a 33-year-old was dating someone born when she was 16, that by itself wasn’t any violation of the law.
But in the particular case of Shannon and Robbie, any illicit relationship between them would be breaking a Texas law that prohibits a relationship between educators and their students. There was also the fact that it would mean the end of Shannon’s career, not to mention her marriage if word of her deeds got out…
Police had only just begun to investigate the possibility of misconduct on Shannon’s part when something happened that made that investigation pointless. Robbie’s mother came home one day to find her son in bed naked with the school counselor, a woman closer to her own age than to her son’s.
You can imagine the sort of shouting that followed as the lust-driven school counselor was kicked out of the home by the angry mother. After she had gone, the shouting barely slowed down as Robbie was grilled for an explanation for his actions…
Apparently, he had been seeing Shanon for a few months though the secretive nature of their relationship meant that it was difficult to get alone time. In total, they had been “intimate” about a dozen times when they could sneak in some privacy, both at Shannon’s home and at Robbie’s place, where they were when they were discovered.
When Robbie’s mother reported Shannon to the police, they put out a warrant for her arrest and she promptly resigned from her position and turned herself in. She had a bizarre look of glee on her face in her mugshot photo, a shot that went viral on social media, gaining national attention…
Parents of students in Shannon’s district were notified of the arrest and the school district’s superintendent Steve Chapman sent an automated message to parents reassuring them that the safety of students was their number one priority. He was also sure to say that there was “no evidence to suggest the alleged behavior happened on the Harwood Junior High campus.”
Shannon was released from jail on $5,000 bail but if she was eventually found guilty of the charges against her, she would be facing up to twenty years in prison. All of that was worth it to her, apparently, because she was “in love with him.”…
Losing It All
She’d previously said that she was willing to leave her husband to be with the Robbie and after the news came out, her marriage was effectively over. But her relationship with the teenager became impossible after his mother forbade them from being together. She’d lost her marriage, her job, and potentially her freedom all for nothing.
Shannon was apparently not much of a counselor either, considering Robbie also dropped out of school shortly after the whole fiasco went down. Because the student in this story was a minor, his identity was withheld from the public. We have used the name “Robbie” for the sake of smooth narration.