Parents shocked after Niceville teacher accused of sexual activity with student

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NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — Heather Brescher’s son was a student of Hayley Hallmark — the Ruckel Middle School history teacher and coach accused of lewd and lascivious behavior with a former 15-year-old student.

“It’s horrific. It was so sad,” Brescher said at her home Monday. “It’s shocking. Truly shocking.”

Hallmark is accused texting the student, then “sexting her.” The relationship turned sexual.

Hallmark’s arrest report says she and the girl would perform sexual acts in classrooms, with the door shut and the camera pointed away from them.

“Ultimately it doesn’t matter who it was with. It’s still a child,” Brescher said. “A child cannot give consent and that all around is just a horrible horrible situation.”

WKRG reached out to Brescher after she commented on the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post announcing Hallmark’s arrest.

“Omg. She is my son’s teacher, too,” she wrote. “Disgusting and so sad for the young child involved. Glad the police got to her before us Moms did.”

Ashley Kennedy also wrote on the post: “My daughter had her for 2 weeks. This is just sick….”

Brescher said it’s disturbing her son was in Hallmark’s class and makes her feel vulnerable to predators.

“Not only was that a teacher, but she was a coach, Brescher said. “She mentored children. It’s absolutely terrifying, and it makes us feel so vulnerable … It could be the good person in your life. You have to be careful with everybody.”

Hallmark has been placed on administrative leave without pay. She was released from the Okaloosa County jail on Monday after posting $20,000 bail.

In statement, Okaloosa County Superintendent Marcus Chambers said: “Okaloosa County teachers represent the highest standard of professionalism, ethics, and morality. When an educator fails to live up to that high standard, we’re all impacted. Student safety and well-being is our highest priority, and we expect our employees’ conduct to be consistent with that priority.”

Just last week, Chambers congratulated Hallmark for coaching the middle school’s dance team to the state championship and winning the jazz category. This was clearly before her arrest.

Brescher said she’s proud of the victim who came forward to report the alleged sexual abuse.

“We don’t know how many people are potentially saved because that victim stepped up and spoke out,” she said.

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