A former Alabama teacher committed suicide only days after she was charged with having sex with two male students. Leslie Gillespie taught English at R.A. Hubbard High School in North Courtland and was the school’s Teacher of the Year in 2019, WAAY reports. However, she was immediately removed from her position following the emergence of the allegations against her, which led her to take her own life.
The charges against Leslie Gillespie were extremely serious. The 44-year-old was facing charges of second-degree rape, second-degree sodomy, and two charges of a school employee engaging in a sexual act with a student. While she was released on $60,000 bond, she faced a long prison sentence if found guilty.
The students visited her after school. The 15-year-old and 16-year-old boys are said to have visited Gillespie’s classroom after school in September 2020, which is where the alleged sexual acts took place. It’s unclear how the relationship came to light, but the school and police acted swiftly.
Two days after she was bailed, she committed suicide. After Gillespie was released from the local jail on the afternoon of Thursday, May 27, Lawrence County Coroner Scott Norwood said her body was found in her home in Hillsboro at around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 29. The cause of death was quickly identified as a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
This is a sad story all around. It’s extremely inappropriate that Gillespie engaged in a sexual relationship with her young students and she absolutely deserved to be held accountable for that abuse. However, to take her own life is extreme and no doubt not the income that anyone would have wanted. Here’s hoping Gillespie’s family, as well as the victims and their loved ones, are able to find peace in a very tragic situation all-around.
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