SEBRING — A 30-year-old Sebring High School teacher has been arrested and charged with having sex with a 15-year-old student.
Ariel Madden Reed, a critical thinking teacher who has a master’s degree in human resources, was arrested Friday and charged with 10 counts of sexual battery upon victim ages 12-18 by a teacher who has the custodial authority of that student and booked into the Highlands County Jail.
Reed was placed on administrative leave by the School Board of Highlands County on Feb. 10, the day the Special Victims Unit began investigating the case. The investigation began when a School Resource Deputy learned the victim had nude images of Reed on his phone. When questioned by detectives, the victim described multiple sexual encounters between himself and Reed.
The victim said they had sex at Reed’s home, in her car, and in her classroom at the school between November of 2020 and earlier this month.
“I want to commend the staff at Sebring High School for taking immediate action and quickly notifying the school resource deputy, as well as the Special Victims Unit for working quickly to develop this case. We take any allegations involving children very seriously and are continuing to investigate,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said.
“We are committed to providing a safe learning environment in all Highlands County schools, so we are shocked and saddened by these allegations. School administration and district officials are fully cooperating with the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office as they investigate this matter,” Deputy Superintendent Andrew Lethbridge said. “No further comments will be made as this is an ongoing investigation.”
Reed has worked for the School Board of Highlands County since 2015. She has worked as office staff at both Woodlawn Elementary School and the district office and was a teacher at Avon Park Middle School before transferring to Sebring High School in 2019.
Reed’s husband, 37-year-old Jonathan Patrick Reed, was also arrested Friday for interference with the execution of a search warrant.