A Gretna school teacher was arrested after she allegedly sent nude photos to a student on Snapchat, the Advocate reports.
According to the New Orleans Advocate, 30-year-old Viridiana Figueroa-Ramos was booked on a count of indecent behavior with a juvenile on Nov 17. Figueroa-Ramos is listed as a band teacher at L.W. Ruppel Academy for Advanced Studies.
Figueroa-Ramos was booked by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office because detectives believe the images were sent in Jefferson Parish.
Beth Branley, executive director of communications at the Jefferson Parish School System said the district was informed of the allegations on Nov. 17. Branley said they immediately called Gretna Police, who arrested Ramos.
When students and employees returned from the Thanksgiving break, Ramos was suspended without pay, said Branley. She added JPPS is conducting its own ongoing investigation.
In her career, Ramos taught at five different schools:
-Fisher Middle-High School
- L.W. Ruppel Academy
- McDonough Elementary
- Terrytown Elementary
- Kerner Elementary
On Tuesday, the parents of Ruppel Academy, where Ramos most recently worked, received a letter. On Wednesday, parents at Fisher got a letter. The three other schools will send out letters Thursday, said Branley.
According to JPPS, there is no indication that students from any other schools have come forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior from Ramos. However, they said they will investigate at all of the schools Ramos taught at.
Dr. Ashraf Esmail, Criminal Justice Coordinator at Dillard University said these incidents happen more often than we realize.
"Probably one of every 10 students gets exposed to sexual misconduct," Criminal Justice Coordinator Dr.Ashraf Esmail said.
Dr. Esmail also says many times those accused often prey on the young and vulnerable.
"A student is often fearful as to, should I report it? Sometimes they're just uncomfortable. They don't even know what's going on until it's too late," Dr. Esmail said.
Figueroa-Ramos was released on $5,000 bond.
Dr. Esmail says this is another reason both schools and parents should have a serious conversation with their children about sexual misconduct.
"When you're getting a show of hands and students are saying, 'My parents are not discussing this with me, that's problematic. Young people are exposed!! We've got to spend more time at home and put something in the school system! Create classes that teach young people," Dr. Esmail said.
Eyewitness news reached out to Ramos's attorney Richard J. Richthofen, Jr.
Richthofen says due to the ongoing investigation, he cannot comment extensively on the case, however, he says Ramos is denying all of the allegations against her.
"After the full investigation is complete, we believe a different or more accurate version of the event will be told."
Read more on the New Orleans Advocate’s website.