Tacoma teacher arrested for suspicion of child rape

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by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jlangelerKING5

KING5.com

Posted on February 6, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 7 at 8:59 AM

TACOMA, Wash. -- A Tacoma high school teacher is under arrest for suspicion of child rape.

According to district officials, 24-year-old Meredith Powell, a math teacher at Lincoln High School, is on unpaid administrative leave.

District spokesman Dan Voelpel said administrators got an anonymous tip that Powell was involved in sexual activity with students. That information was immediately passed on to Tacoma police, who arrested Powell on suspicion of two counts of child rape and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

The district put the math teacher on administrative leave Wednesday.

All teachers are required to go through "Boundary Invasion" training when hired, Voelpel said.  The practice started several years ago after the case of Jennifer Rice, a McKiinley Elementary School teacher later convicted of kidnapping and raping a 10-year-old student.

"(Powell) did go through that trainng," said Voelpel, "So the boundaries were very clear.

Friends told KING 5 Powell stays withiin those "boundaries".  One described her as sweet, smart and a great educator.  She called the allegations "entirely shocking".

Powell is expected to be formally charged on Friday. She's expected in court at 1:30 p.m. Friday for an arraignment.

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