Teacher arrested for allegedly seducing student at Lafayette Jeff High School

Matthew David Smith

A teacher has been arrested for allegedly seducing a female student at Lafayette Jeff High School. The investigation has lasted nearly 10 months.

Posted: Mar 6, 2020 4:38 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) —According to court documents, police received a call on May 9, 2019, that a 16-year-old girl was being inappropriately touched by a man.

The girl told police that 26-year-old Matthew Smith stuck his hand under her shirt and fondled her at Jeff High School.

"With accusations that were brought to Jeff High administration it became a situation we immediately involved the Lafayette Police Department,” said Superintendent Les Huddle.

After LPD took over the case Lafayette School Corporation placed Smith on paid administrative leave for three months.
At the time, Smith was a math teacher at Lafayette Jefferson High School. In August of 2019, he was re-assigned to teach math at Tecumseh Junior High School.

"Tecumseh's a little bit different and sometimes you're teaching with a team,” said Huddle.

Superintendent Les Huddle said the administration did not receive any reports while Smith was teaching at Tecumseh.
However, the question remains: why was he teaching at Tecumseh Junior High School while under investigation?

"Both sides if you will have their legal rights,” said Huddle. “So we want to make sure we protect the victim, if you will, and also provide due process for the accuser."

Sarah Alexander has a child in the Lafayette School Corporation. She is startled by the news.

"It blows my mind,” said Alexander.

Alexander said kids should not have to worry about an authority figure violating them.

"For that authority figure to be violating that child that is so wrong and I can't imagine what the kids are going through,” said Alexander.

She said as an alumni of the Lafayette School Corporation, this teacher's actions do not reflect on the corporation as a whole.

"I don't think that one bad person should speak for all of Lafayette School Corporation,” said Alexander. “I do believe that a person is responsible for their own actions."

Smith bonded out of jail on Friday. He is still on paid administrative leave. Superintendent Les Huddle says the corporation will undertake its own investigation to determine what the next steps are.

Previous story below:

A teacher has been arrested for allegedly seducing a female student at Lafayette Jeff High School. The investigation has lasted nearly 10 months.

Matthew David Smith, 26, is facing a charge of child seduction. Superintendent Les Huddle said Smith was hired by the Lafayette School Corporation in Aug. 2017 as a math teacher at Jeff High School. Huddle said Smith has spent the current school year as a math teacher at Tecumseh Junior High.

According to court documents, police received a call on May 9, 2019, that a 16-year-old girl was being inappropriately touched by a man. The girl told police that Smith stuck his hand under her shirt and fondled her while at Jeff High School. Smith still taught at Jeff at the time.

Police collected her clothing and sent it to a lab for examination. On Jan. 24, officers were advised Smith's DNA was on the clothing. 

Huddle said Smith is still employed by the Lafayette School Corporation but was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday following his arrest. Now that an arrest has been made, Huddle said the school will begin their own investigation. 

As of Friday morning, Smith was not listed in the Tippecanoe County Jail. 

This case is not related to the on-going case of the alleged inappropriate relationship involving a Lafayette Jeff assistant football coach.

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