Teacher-student trysts said to go back a month

Staff WriterApril 18, 2008 

— It was a relationship going back at least a month that culminated with charges Monday against a Sanderson High School history teacher, accused of having a sexual relationship with a female student.

Search warrants made public Wednesday say that Shannon Lynn Best and the 18-year-old student had been in a sexual relationship about four weeks. The warrants say Best and the student were photographed kissing during a sleepover at Best's house Friday.

Best, 28, of 5937-A Shade Tree Lane in Raleigh was charged Monday with taking indecent liberties with a student by school personnel. She was released from the Wake County jail the same day after posting a $5,000 bail.

Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue said that although the student is of legal age, North Carolina law prohibits a sexual relationship between school personnel and students.

Wake County schools officials informed police of the relationship. Best admitted this week to Raleigh police investigators that she and the student had been sexually involved and that she had sent nude images of herself to the student. Best resigned from her job Monday; she was hired in 2004.

Investigators also are working to determine whether Best had inappropriate contact with other students. They say a computer, three flash drives and a school-issued laptop were among the items taken from Best's home Tuesday.

"The collection of information stored in Shannon Best's computer is crucial evidence," the warrant states.

marlon.walker@newsobserver.com or (919) 836-4906

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