Northeast Tarrant

School counselor had a physical relationship with 9th grade student, police say

Bedford police issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday for 33-year-old Shannon Hathaway, who is accused of having a physical relationship with a Harwood Junior High School student.
Bedford police issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday for 33-year-old Shannon Hathaway, who is accused of having a physical relationship with a Harwood Junior High School student. Courtesy of the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office

A school counselor in the HEB school district had a physical relationship with a ninth-grade student at Harwood Junior High School, according to Bedford police.

Police issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Shannon Hathaway, 33, on a charge of improper relationship between an educator and a student.

Police became aware of the allegations against Hathaway after she was placed on paid administrative leave by the HEB Independent School District in May.

In a message sent to parents on May 21, Harwood Junior High principal Dr. Toby Givens said that Hathaway's absence from the campus had been due to a potential violation of district policy.

The Bedford Police Department’s criminal investigation division was notified shortly afterward, according to Lt. Biff Schuessler.

"As is standard practice, the police department asked district personnel to not investigate the criminal allegations, so as to not interfere in the police investigation and the district agreed," Schuessler said in an email.

Investigators determined that a male student at Harwood during the 2016-2017 school year had allegedly been involved in a physical relationship with Hathaway, Schuessler said.

At the time of the relationship, the student was in the ninth grade and was 17 years old, police said.

An attorney representing Hathaway contacted the Bedford police and arranged for her to surrender at the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday.

In a voicemail sent to parents Thursday morning, HEB ISD Superintendent Steve Chapman said that this was an isolated event and referred to Hathaway as a former employee.

"There is no evidence to suggest the alleged behavior happened on the Harwood Junior High campus," Chapman said.

Chapman added that the school district made the Texas State Board of Educators aware of the investigation.

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