Article Comment 

New Hope teacher indicted for sexual battery on student






Ryan Poe



A New Hope math teacher pleaded not guilty to the sexual battery of a 17-year-old student Tuesday after she was indicted by a grand jury. 


Katherine Robbins, of 4097 New Hope Road in Lowndes County, had been on administrative leave since allegations surfaced in March. 


Robbins, who is married with two young children, is accused of having a sexual relationship with the male student over an extended period of time, according to sources at the school. 


According to one of her students, Robbins often flirted with male classmates, even to the point of giving them hugs and inappropriately touching them in other ways. 


Now that Robbins has been indicted, Lowndes County School District Superintendent Mike Halford said it was "pretty much a given" that she would be fired. 


The case, which is still under a gag order by 16th District Circuit Judge Jim Kitchens, is scheduled for trial Aug. 22.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment dm commented at 5/11/2011 10:57:00 AM:

Um, how did he "bring harm to this girl's husband and children" if this woman flirted with multiple male students? SHE is the adult; a 17-year old is still legally (and psychologically, really) a child. It was her responsibility, as the authority figure, to put a stop to it. The fact of the matter is you'd have a different viewpoint if the sexes were reversed in this case, and if it were YOUR daughter; therefore, you are a hypocrite.


Article Comment burdine commented at 5/11/2011 10:58:00 AM:

Jim, I guess if the student was a cheerleader and the teacher was one of her male teachers then the student should be punished the same as the teacher?


Article Comment apollo443 commented at 5/11/2011 11:01:00 AM:

would you feel the same if it was a black male teacher and a 17 yr old white female?


Article Comment jim varnon commented at 5/11/2011 11:33:00 AM:

So all you guys above draw WRONG conclusions,then start calling people names, AND BY ALL MEANS, make it an issue of race..That always helps (yeah)..Fact is ...YOU do NOT KNOW what I have experienced... Fact is.. The law of MS says that sexs legal at i6. Now, I do understand your reaction if this kid is 14 or even 15..And I do favor the laws that lists certain positions as positions of authority.. I accept and support those laws..But if you even "think" that this 17 year old is an "innocent victim"...your an absolute IDIOT.. He will go free and brag about this for the rest of his life ..Read the history of Biblical morality.Prov. 6 The MAN that committs adultry with ANOTHER MANS WIFE..SHALL NOT GO UNPUNISHED..that young MAN WILL NOT STAND BEFORE GOD AS INNOCENT unless he admits his WRONG and repents to this husband, WHO, IN FACT, IS THE REAL INNOCENT VICTIM in this case.


Article Comment jim varnon commented at 5/11/2011 11:56:00 AM:

to dm... do you really think that this husband is not harmed?? ...really ???... Do you really believe that this husband does not stay awake thinking about what BOTH OF THESE people did to him ?..really ?? come on dm ...BOTH ARE GUILTY....IF YOUR GONNA GET ONE, THEN YOU NEED TO GET TWO..17 IS A MAN... THAT'S WHY HE DID THE DIRTY!! HE HAS TO PROVE THAT HE IS A MAN ...AND THAT IS JUST WHAT HE DID...( a bad man , but in any case, a man)


Article Comment statethefacts commented at 5/11/2011 12:35:00 PM:

Jim !!! you are so RIGHT!!! this seventeen year old in question is already a father. HE IS JUST AS RESPONSIBLE! By the Way, as far as teachers and students are concerned , Whatever happened to the basketball coach who dated a high school student then married her?? NOTHING!!!! just saying!! (same school!)


Article Comment cm commented at 5/11/2011 1:16:00 PM:

I won't comment on the religion babble but I will say that yes it does take two and both should be held accountable for what they did but she is a teacher, there have been rumors that this has been done by her before just this time she got caught. I am a former student of hers. She's in a position that should be held accountable for their actions. This student might be 17 and might have a child but it's not any different than if it were a male teacher doing it to a female student or even an age factor (nothing about race should be factor in any of our comments its 2011 GET OVER IT!). I ask you all to put yourself in the shoes of the students that need to be protected REGARDLESS of their age. You shouldn't point fingers and while I do feel sorry for the husband and children involved it's not the student that should feel bad for what they did it's the teacher. She took the vows and gave birth to the kids her actions possibly ruined/strained her relationship with them not the students. She as well as other teachers in this position should be held accountable! I am closer to this story than probably all of you so I know a lot more than you do don't cast judgement before you know the facts.


Article Comment jim varnon commented at 5/11/2011 1:43:00 PM:

cmcomments...I HAVE been in those positions ...with CLOSE family..Cannot comment any further at this time.. I know ALL about the hurt...It is simple..."IT TAKES TWO" for your reference to "religous babble"....Where do you THINK the Moral Laws that were used to govern this nation, and that HANG OVER THE WALL OF THE SUPREME COURT came from.You slight me NONE when you decide to play against the Sovereign Judge of the, have at it. ..THere is no judgement cast on anyone.. It is easy BOTH are Guilty !!!PERIOD..


Article Comment kj commented at 5/11/2011 1:47:00 PM:

Jim's right that he would be tried as an adult. Incorrectly tried as an adult in my opinion. The law that she is being indicted under is about the fact that she was in a position of direct authority over the boy.

As for what the bible says, who cares? This country isn't a theocracy.


Article Comment cm commented at 5/11/2011 2:00:00 PM:

Jim, please go read your bible and stop trying to preach to me. I have a right to my opinion about religion as do you but please don't discredit my opinion because I didn't read it directly from the bible.

She was in a position of authority over this student for that ALONE she should be convicted. Her actions cost her children and husbands feelings NOT the student, he has his own people that have hurt feelings to deal with. Again I am NOT saying he shouldn't be held accountable but it's she that should be punished for being the teacher and engaging in this kind of activity. AGAIN it's her reputation that she has had affairs with students before and that she has flirted with NUMEROUS students. I am a former student, I have seen it myself. I was of legal age (18) when I graduated, does that make it okay for a male teacher to make moves on me? NO! and the rules shouldn't be any different for a teacher whether the student is 7 or 17; male or female.


Article Comment hlb commented at 5/11/2011 2:00:00 PM:

cm as you stated in your earlier comment....."there have been rumors before that she has done this" are you so informed on this issue of facts that havent been revealed to sources outside of the grand are you still speculating on rumor?


Article Comment cm commented at 5/11/2011 2:05:00 PM:

I know facts about the situation aside from her "rumored" reputation, no I am not in the grand jury but there are things that haven't been released to the public that I do know. I will not say the things I know and I will not say how I know them out of respect for the family.

Also, if you'd read my comment I said BOTH should be held accountable. There is no question or speculation about whether this did or didn't happen it DID there is PROOF.


Article Comment newsjunkie commented at 5/11/2011 5:32:00 PM:

CM, did you report what you say you saw yourself when it happened? Where were all these people when this "reputation" was being made who have fingers to point now?...Statethefacts, if this is true about other personnel there, why was this not also reported? Why were charges not brought? Just sounds like everyone wants to get on the bandwagon against this woman, but only because it made the news?


Article Comment hlb commented at 5/11/2011 6:10:00 PM:

yeah they respect the families so much they sit on their hands till something hits the news then they become the judge and the executioner. maybe the judge needs to enforce his gag order ruling since theres so many leaked "facts" about this. and as far as other coaches and students......were they dating while she was a student( i doubt very seriously) or was she a student first then graduated and married a single man that was a coach at the school after she was a student? crime??? i dont think so. rumor.....? of course .....or you sit at home do nothing but chat on ya cell phone all day ten sandwich eating folks wouldnt have anything better to do!


Article Comment communityfirst commented at 5/11/2011 7:10:00 PM:

A Storm of Anonymity

By Paul LaRocque | Thursday, April 1st, 2010

The publication of anonymous reader comments by newspapers is unethical and should be discontinued, except in rare and unusual circumstances.

The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics emphasizes that journalists should:
· Seek truth and report it
· Minimize harm
· Be fair and accurate
· Be accountable
· Show good taste

However, it also says journalists should:
· Support open exchange of views, but should not misrepresent the facts
· Give voice to the voiceless
· Encourage the public to voice grievances

So, how can newspapers manage all that - be fair and accountable and support open exchange? They have been doing that for many years.

They have managed with features called "letters to the editor" and the "op-ed" page. Those features do not permit anonymity, except in rare occasions, and even then require that writers' identity be known to the editors before articles are published.

Now, with the internet and online editions of newspapers, anyone with access to a computer can comment anonymously. Oversight is minimal. Newspapers would have to increase staff to authenticate each online submission, as is done with letters to the editor and op-ed articles. That will not happen, especially in these times of deep newspaper staff cutbacks.

The result has been a storm of anonymous comments - some of them quite nasty - in online newspapers. Rather than give voice to the voiceless, this practice in fact both provides venue and protection to unethical voices. It is unfair, is often inaccurate, harmful, in poor taste, and is not accountable.

Granted, those reader comments are not "journalistic" efforts but they are published by journalists who not only lend credibility to the irresponsible but also shield them from accountability. Newspapers cannot ignore the unethical aspects of anonymous reader comments.

The "voiceless" are not voiceless. There are many online avenues for them to air their opinions anonymously if they choose to do so. Newspapers should not be among those avenues. Doing so is irresponsible and not ethical.

Paul R. LaRocque, member, SPJ Ethics Committee


Article Comment newnew78 commented at 5/11/2011 7:39:00 PM:

As a mother of 4 boys who attend New Hope.. I see what each and every one of yall are saying... however, SHE is the TEACHER, the one who is SUPOSE to look out for our children. I do agree he should be held accountable just as she is but again, she is the GROWN ADULT TEACHER who we trust with our children, makes me sick to my stomach really, that ANY woman would even go there!!!


Article Comment jacoobe commented at 5/11/2011 9:13:00 PM:

I have known this girl since she was in the 10th grade; I taught her math at New Hope. She is a good person and deserves loyalty and support until proven guilty. I regret she is caught up in this; she is a good person with two small children. It takes two to create this situation; she is not alone in this. I pray she prevails and is proven innocent. Stay strong Stacy; you can get through this.


Article Comment mg commented at 5/12/2011 12:01:00 AM:

First this person you are calling a girl is in her thirties,so I would think this makes her a women. She made a decision to have the little fling with a student knowing she is a married woman, and the consequences that came along with it. The student is not married nor is he legally an adult. I am a close friend of the students family and know him very well.He is a good person some people want to make comments about him already having a child, well let me tell you he takes care of his child as well as any father could. He works and goes to school while doing this.How many teenagers do you know that would take this responsibility?
For all the busy bodies that think they know everything, the school officials are the ones that brought this to the publics knowledge,not the family or the student. As far as the evidence goes that will be saved for the court. What do any of you suppose should be done to the STUDENT? He's not married, he's not a 30 some odd year old person, and he did not ask for all this she got too bold and got caught by her superiors. Now everyone wants to blame him for this mess. SHE WAS HIS TEACHER AND FINALLY GOT CAUGHT.


Article Comment ls commented at 5/12/2011 12:20:00 AM:

To:hlb how do you know people have been sitting on their hands? You are not the detective gathering evidence, nor do you know all the facts. just because it hasn't been put out there for the public doesn't mean people haven't came forward. Guess you will have to wait till she goes to court.


Article Comment ls commented at 5/12/2011 12:24:00 AM:
SEC. 97-3-95. Sexual battery.

(1) A person is guilty of sexual battery if he or she engages in sexual penetration with:

(a) Another person without his or her consent;

(b) A mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless person; or

(c) A child under the age of fourteen (14) years.

(2) A person is guilty of sexual battery if he or she engages in sexual penetration with a child of fourteen (14) but less than eighteen (18) years if the person is in a position of trust or authority over the child including without limitation the child's teacher, counselor, physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, minister, priest, physical therapist, chiropractor, legal guardian, parent, stepparent, aunt, uncle, scout leader or coach.

SOURCES: Laws, 1980, ch. 450, Sec. 1; 1983, ch. 429, Sec. 3; 1985, ch. 389, Sec. 6; 1993, ch. 512, Sec. 2, eff from and after July 1, 1993.
Sign in to report abuse or send a compliment newuser41825725 25 months ago


Article Comment jim varnon commented at 5/12/2011 8:20:00 AM:

kjcomments... I don't mean to sound self righteous or more Holy that the next guy..I mean that .. But as for "who cares' what the Bible says...I and millions of others care very deeply... You are right in saying that we are not a Theocracy...but you are wrong to even suggest that the moral laws that were used to form this nations system of government did not come from the Bible..On the walls, inside the Supreme Court, of THIS country, you will find the 10 Commandments, DIRECTLY from, guessed it; the Holy Bible.


Article Comment jim varnon commented at 5/12/2011 8:32:00 AM:



Article Comment educator commented at 5/12/2011 8:42:00 AM:

This is not a case of moral conduct this is a case of a person in authority having a sexual/inappropriate relationship with a STUDENT. She would have been free if it had not been that she was the teacher and he was the student. The only person who will make the judgement on both of them for their inapproriate relationship based on all of the bickering about what is right or wrong is God. She is being accused because of position of authority. This case is not about her husband, children or family - that she will have to deal with on her own. She will never teach again not will she ever be allowed to be responsible for children. As a teacher, we know this is not OK. She has been know for this behavior before maybe this will stop her.


Article Comment hlb commented at 5/12/2011 9:33:00 AM:

if she is guilty she should be punished to the full extent of the question. never did i say or intend to say that. but at this point nothing has been proven to the publics eye that it occurred. other than friends of friends of families stating comments. so until that has been determined by the jury of our peers no one should should cast judgement towards anyone.
educator.....again.....if "shes been known for this behavior before"..........if you knew so much knowledge of this woman why didnt you do something or act upon before now?????
i hope someone takes responsibilty for this in some manner.....maybe a new leadership is needed at this school since "so much is known" but never acted upon!
God bless them all!


Article Comment educator commented at 5/12/2011 9:44:00 AM:

hlb -I do not work with Mrs. Robbins to report anything however I do know her. are right it seems they need new leadership. Not just because of this but all the other events that seem to be taking place at that school. ie the secreatry allow a woman to check out a kid that was not hers which has led to a statutory rape charge. A school that was once commended for its excellence. It is now ruined - they need some major changes there. However, lets make one point to think on - the new principal was in trouble from his previous job for having an affair with a fellow teacher - seems we need people with better morals in that school.


Article Comment doc commented at 5/12/2011 10:30:00 AM:

I have to agree with hlb. So many people are saying they knew this was going on and yet no one reported it. "Accessories" is the term I would use to describe them....if it is true. The main point is these are allegations. And until they are proven they will remain allegations. And "educator", it is also YOUR responsibility as an "educator" to report suspicious activity when your students or another educators students are involved. I think everyone needs to wait until the evidence is revealed before we cast judgement on this woman. As far as the student, I can't think of any law that he has violated besides the HOLY law. Should he be in Should he be ashamed.....yes (once again, if this is true). I hope for both parties that it is not true....I hope it is the educational system being "overly" cautious (which is good)and a DA that is looking toward an election year


Article Comment ready4achange commented at 5/12/2011 11:11:00 AM:

From what I've been told by teachers and students at NH (and I will honestly say yes, this is by rumor only) this has been reported before by other teachers and students. The powers that be knew she was "known" for this type of behaivor but never could get a confession from anyone tangible with viable proof. THIS time, she got too bold and got caught with evidence she couldn't deny.


Article Comment friendofafriend commented at 5/12/2011 12:04:00 PM:

This woman has two children who still have to go to school and live in this community. All of the rumor-mongering and gossip that's being spread around filters down to the kids that her children go to school with...and they hear about it too. These children did _NOTHING_ to deserve the situation they are in. _IF_ Ms. Robbins is guilty (and that has _not_ been established yet) she will be punished by the courts and our legal system. Remember to keep that in mind before you speak about a situation that i'm fairly certain 99.9% of you only know what you've read in the papers and heard in the gossip mills. I'm also VERY disappointed in the Dispatch for reporting rumors about Ms. Robbins' _alleged_ behavior with other male students. This is hearsay and was just put in to titillate the readers. We're talking about PEOPLE'S LIVES here, not some silly TV drama. I thought the Dispatch had more standards and journalistic integrity than the gossip rags in the Supermarket checkout stands....suppose I was wrong.


Article Comment doc commented at 5/12/2011 12:15:00 PM:

Thank you Friendofafriend. Ready4achange even says "(and I will honestly say yes, this is by rumor only)". If you can't tell your sources then you shouldn't comment.....print fact not fiction.


Article Comment jim varnon commented at 5/12/2011 2:16:00 PM:

TO friendofafriend.....YES !!! Dispatch has failed the community with this one, FOR SURE....Creating a story, as opposed to covering a story...BAD for the Dispatch..Rumors and heresay will not be part of the trial and even the grand jury has heard only one side fo the argument. Thnaks for your comments, and yes, we care about her kids too.


Article Comment mg commented at 5/13/2011 12:26:00 AM:

For those of you that it had not clicked to, a person cannot be indicted for any charge unless there is enough evidence against this person. When the grand jury looks at both sides of the story and makes a decision then all the evidence can be released to the public. If people are really concerned about the children hearing things then I say stop speculating and talking about it until it's all settled in court. The less opinions at this point the better because by the time it gets to the next 15 people the more junk has been added to it.


Article Comment mysideofthestory commented at 5/13/2011 10:44:00 PM:

This is my algebra teacher, lol


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 5/14/2011 6:28:00 AM:

Boy, you New Hope people like to get nasty out there, don't you? Ya'll like to keep some sort of dirty little secrets going all the time out there.

Might explain why some call the area "No Hope".

Hey Jim, you reckon she has a weapons permit to handle that thing? LMAO


Article Comment stirthestupid commented at 5/14/2011 12:19:00 PM:

be careful what you say all you porn watchin folks...yeah we know


Article Comment newnew78 commented at 5/15/2011 10:59:00 AM:

wow... so you say us New Hope people like to get nasty... well let me just say this... I can bet you I can go to ANY school and find some lil secrets, dont ya think? now Im not happy AT all about this whole teacher situation... but as far as "New Hope" goes, well.. Im proud to be from New Hope... :-)


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