An Evangeline Parish mother claims in a new lawsuit that her son became involved in a sexual relationship with his English teacher, and that woman furnished the gun he used to commit suicide in their shared hotel room.
Misty Fontenot, as well as the mother of her son’s minor child, LaKayja Myers filed the civil suit on May 10 in the 13th Judicial District Court. The teacher, Whitney Guillory, and the Evangeline Parish School Board, are named as defendants.
They claim Guillory began a relationship with Fontenot’s son during the 2014-15 school year at Evangeline Central High School, when he was still a minor. He died from an apparent suicide in a Lafayette Parish hotel on May 4, 2017, and they claim Guillory witnessed his death — and that the firearm he used came from her.
His child with Myers was born four months later.
Guillory "began contacting Colby regularly, during and after school houses, fostering a close, personal and emotional relationship with her student," according to the lawsuit. "Her methods of grooming Colby for an inappropriate relationship included, but were not limited to, providing additional tutoring, flirting, encouraging after school contact, and initiating cell phone communication." The relationship ultimately became sexual.
As first reported in the Ville Platte Gazette, the plaintiffs claim negligence against the school board for failure to protect the student from such an abuse of power.
"Ms. Guillory maintained a position of trust and authority" over Fontenot’s son, the lawsuit claims, and her actions demonstrated "a wanton and reckless disregard" for his mental and emotional well-being and violated state law that bars adults from forming sexual relationships with minors.
The lawsuit further accuses the board of failing to screen its teachers and train them on appropriate teacher-student boundaries, even though it knew of possible past instances of inappropriate teacher-students relationships, and failing to supervise them and prevent inappropriate contact with students.
The Fontenot and Myers seek damages.
Representatives with the school board could not be immediately reached on Friday, as the office is closed on Fridays in summer.