HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - A female teacher at Waiakea High School on the Big Island is under investigation, accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student at the Hilo-area school, sources told Hawaii News Now Friday.
The two are accused of having sex in a room connected to the teacher's classroom at the school, sources said.
Department of Education officials said the teacher, who's worked at Waiakea for 11 years, was placed on department-directed leave with pay about one month ago.
Waiakea principal Kelcy Koga confirmed an investigation but said, "We are unable to confirm any details during the investigation."
"Students were notified that (their teacher) is not in school and a qualified substitute would be taking her place in her absence," Koga said in a statement.
Sources described the woman as a "fabulous teacher" who's married and is well-known in the community since she's a graduate of Waiakea.
People familiar with the situation said the boy showed a school staffer racy text messages from the teacher with whom he'd been having an affair and the school employee notified the principal, who started the investigation.
It does not appear that police will become involved in any kind of criminal investigation since the boy is 17 years old.
Because the age of consent in Hawaii is 16, the student would have to be 15 or younger for the teacher to face statutory rape or sexual assault charges, even if the relationship was consensual.
The boy is still attending the school, a source said.
Hawaii News Now is not identifying the teacher or the student publicly because neither of them has been charged with a crime.