SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Two South Dakota teachers have permanently lost their licenses to teach in the state after inappropriate behavior with students.
Emily Ayres resigned from her job of six years, as a vocal music teacher, last spring in Beresford, after facing charges of violating beverage laws in her home and giving alcohol to someone under 21.
As part of a plea bargain, she admitted to the first misdemeanor charge and the second one was dropped. Ayres got five days in jail.
However, according to South Dakota Department of Education documents revoking her license, 26-year-old Ayres admitted to providing alcohol to an 18-year-old Beresford senior at her home and engaged in consensual sexual acts with the student. She said he came to her home three or four times.
Just last month, the education department also revoked the teaching license of a former Rapid City Central High School head cross country coach.
Five students came forward to say Thad Caldwell had massaged them inappropriately in hotel rooms on trips to competitions over a five-year period.
Caldwell had been placed on administrative leave in 2020 after students reported that he massaged their glute areas. Caldwell told one of the students that students “love it when he massages out their glutes.”
According to his license proceedings, Caldwell tried to normalize his behavior to students, making them think the massages were “legitimate and appropriate.”
An investigation ensued, and Caldwell resigned in September of 2020. According to the official documents from the Department of Education, students were afraid to report what Caldwell was doing.
Caldwell never faced any criminal charges.
A bill making its way through the legislature right now would close up a loophole in the sexual contact law to make what Caldwell did a crime in South Dakota.