Glendale coach accused of sex with student met on Facebook
by Jeffrey Javier - May. 25, 2010 10:16 AM
The Arizona Republic
A high school science teacher and assistant wrestling coach in north Glendale resigned amidst allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 19-year-old male student he met online. Matt Spencer, a 13-year teacher from Mountain Ridge High School, resigned two days after he was put on administrative leave May 18.
Another student recently notified the principal of Spencer's relationship with the Mountain Ridge senior and he was placed on leave.
Sandi Hicks, spokeswoman for the Deer Valley Unified School District, said Spencer, 39, and the student met last fall on Facebook, the social media website, and their relationship took place off campus. Hicks was uncertain if the senior was one of Spencer's students, but he was not on the wrestling team. "Regardless, teachers are in a position of authority and trust and because of that, what took place was unprofessional behavior," Hicks said.
On Spencer's school website, the teacher said he has taught biology, wildlife biology, earth science, honors biology, chemistry and forensics.
"It is my goal for students to leave class with a new appreciation for science and a sense of confidence in what they are capable of doing," the website said.
Spencer, of Peoria, was not reported to Glendale police because the student is 19-years-old and the relationship was considered consensual, she said.
However, district officials reported Spencer to the Arizona Department of Education, which certifies teachers.
A district investigation found that no other students were involved.
A letter is being sent to parents of wrestling students.