Former Jay Teachers Jailed For Sex With Students Released From Prison

May 9, 2011

Two former Jay High School teachers sentenced to prison time for having sex with students are now free.

Ashley Elenea Burkett, 33, and April Burford Watson, 34, were both released from prison Saturday after serving a year behind bars. They pleaded no contest last year to three counts each of unlawful sexual activity with male students and were sentenced to a year; they could have been sentenced up to 33 months behind bars.

Both women will remain on probation for  five years  and will be required to register as  sex offenders.

Burkett and Watson, who were teachers at Jay High School, were arrested by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office on August 6, 2009, for engaging in sexual intercourse with male students in 2007.

“The investigation was initiated on July 28, 2009 after an anonymous letter was sent to the Santa Rosa County School District alleging sexual relationships between two Jay High School teachers and male juveniles,” Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Sgt. Scott Haines said after the arrests. The letter was turned over the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office for investigation.

“Interviews were conducted with the alleged victims in the case. Two victims alleged that they were involved in sexual activity with Watson at her residence and the residence of Burkett between the months of July and October 2007. One other victim alleged that he was involved in sexual activity with Burkett at her residence and the residence of Watson between the months of July and October 2007,” Haines said in August. “Both of the suspects were questioned by investigators and they both admitted to the unlawful sexual activity.”

teachersjay.jpgBurkett taught reading and special education students and previously was an assistant volleyball coach, according to the Jay High School web site. Watson taught math and was the advisor for the junior varsity cheerleaders, also according to the school web site. Watson was to become the varsity cheerleader sponsor  and Burkett was to named the varsity volleyball coach. Both women lost their jobs with the Santa Rosa School District as a result of their convictions.

Pictured: (top) Burkett and Watson in their Florida Department of Corrections photos and (below) their 2009 Santa Rosa County Jail mugshots.

Comments

68 Responses to “Former Jay Teachers Jailed For Sex With Students Released From Prison”

  1. Everett on May 12th, 2011 11:07 pm

    They admitted to their mistakes. They have done their time. Let it go.

    It’s time to move on to the lukers and see how that works out. I would not be suprised if they get 12-18 months and out in less than a year.

    At least the teachers came clean and saved the taxpayers alot of money. Can’t say that for the lukers.

    Good “man up” for Gary Smith who surrendered without cause at the “Piggly” shooting. Gary is a good natured person who I feel wouldn’t pull a weapon for the heck of it.

  2. David Huie Green on May 12th, 2011 6:44 pm

    REGARDING:
    “The boys were, by law, minors and, therefore, all accountability falls on the two adults who committed the offenses. I guess I’m just old-fashioned in thinking that people, particularly adults, should be held accountable for their actions”

    Yep, by law. In other countries other laws would have made them adults but we don’t live in those countries. (In Saudi Arabia a man is a male who has lived 12 years. As a man he is entitled to drive. As a result their death rate was recently higher than their birth rate. By law they are adults, by nature they are morons–uh, I mean juveniles.)

    Some have even maintained the ladies while BY LAW adults showed sub-adult behavior, but the law says they are adults. As such they have been held accountable as adults for their actions and will continue to be held accountable into the future. Different people would have held them accountable in different ways, some harsher, some more leniently but that’s the beauty of laws, they can spell out what to expect. Reasonable people will take that into account and don’t get into such messes in the first place. It isn’t an adult thing to do.

    Still, it’s old fashioned decency to feel sorry for a person missing a limb or an eye. Surely a smidgen of pity for lack of sense is in order.

    David for moral growth, reasonable laws
    and the elusive “common sense”

  3. Echo on May 12th, 2011 12:49 pm

    REGARDING:

    “I don’t see why historical figures should be treated differently; after all, that’s how they made history. The point was that they were praised by many at the time and afterward. (I even think highly of a few.)

    And you can decide I’m not a “normal, rational person” if you wish. You wouldn’t be the first. And although I may joke about sad matters and disagree with wrong actions, I still feel sorry for those who suffer for their own misdeeds.”

    We are talking about sex offenders, period. While I am glad that you agree that what they did was wrong, I NEVER feel sorry for people who have committed sex crimes, no matter the degree of such crimes. The boys were, by law, minors and, therefore, all accountability falls on the two adults who committed the offenses. I guess I’m just old-fashioned in thinking that people, particularl/y adults, should be held accountable for their actions.

  4. David Huie Green on May 12th, 2011 11:35 am

    REGARDING:
    ” I am referring specifically to the ladies in the article (not historical figures). No normal, rational person (that being the key point) that I know would feel sorry for them.”

    I don’t see why historical figures should be treated differently; after all, that’s how they made history. The point was that they were praised by many at the time and afterward. (I even think highly of a few.)

    And you can decide I’m not a “normal, rational person” if you wish. You wouldn’t be the first. And although I may joke about sad matters and disagree with wrong actions, I still feel sorry for those who suffer for their own misdeeds.

    Assuming the guilt to which they confessed, it’s possible the poor, innocent little boys have somehow survived the traumatic experience. This is not something they were forced to do but rather something they bragged about having done (yet another good reason to avoid such actions: people don’t keep secrets, never have).

    Yes, they hurt many people by their deeds and people will suffer for years to come, but I doubt the victims will be in their number.

    David for perspective and pity

  5. WORRIED RESIDENT on May 12th, 2011 7:52 am

    These women commited a CRIME!! Why would any of you get on here and bash the parents for not having their 17 year old sons under their thumbs? These BOYS were suppose to be testing their limits, hanging out with their friends, and having some freedom to make their own decisions. Of course some of their decisions will be wrong, that’s to be expected. That’s where the parents come in, to make sure those errors in judgement, do not have long lasting effect. The problem was that these EDUCATORS who were entrusted with these CHILDREN, abused that trust. If they wanted to have sex with these BOYS, they should have waited until they were of a legal age, and were out of school (graduated, quit, etc). To welcome them back as if nothing wrong has happened is also WRONG!! They commited CRIMES! These laws were created for a reason!

    On my opinion, bashing the parents, is equal to bashing the husbands. It wouldn’t have happened IF…! No, that doesn’t make any sense either!

  6. Echo on May 11th, 2011 11:13 pm

    Mr. Green-

    Your point is well taken. However, one would infer from the nature of the discussion that I am referring specifically to the ladies in the article (not historical figures). No normal, rational person (that being the key point) that I know would feel sorry for them. SInce you seem like an intelligent person, I will assume that you agree and be done with it.

  7. David Huie Green on May 11th, 2011 9:44 pm

    REGARDING:
    “When has it become the norm in our society to sympathize with and feel sorry for CRIMINALS!“

    When was it NOT?

    Robin Hood ring a bell?
    Rob Roy?
    Moses? (after all he defied Pharaoh and broke Egyptian law)
    Joshua who “fit the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho” and ordered the killing of entire cities full of people?

    Our founding fathers would have been criminals if the American Revolution had failed. All Confederate soldiers were outlaws in the eyes of the Union; and their memories are still dear to many southerners.

    They sang songs about the legend of Bonnie and Clyde even though they were cold blooded killers.

    Little children play at being pirates, not realizing pirates killed their victims.

    Vast numbers idolize Mao Tse Tung, Che Guevara, Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin, Osama bin Laden and others.

    They make movies about Ted Bundy and Charles Manson.

    Nothing new under the sun.

    David answering question
    with question and examples

  8. Echo on May 11th, 2011 9:15 pm

    To Century Mom:

    Might I add, if my mother, sister, best friend, or father slept with a minor student when they were 30 years old and a teacher, I think they they should go to jail too. I think you are missing the point…this wasn’t a case of an eighteen year old sleeping with a 30 year old. It’s a case of a TEACHER SLEEPING WITH A MINOR STUDENT. The fact that no one seems to get this is astounding.

  9. Echo on May 11th, 2011 9:02 pm

    Wow, how quickly someone proved my point about ignorant comments. I can judge because I have never slept with a child!

  10. Century Mom on May 11th, 2011 8:54 pm

    tisk, tisk tisk, u people are so quick to judge and know none of the facts except what is publically known which in some cases is not even the truth anyway ! Could be your sister, best friend, mom, neighbor, my father was 10 yrs older than my step mom and my best friend’s husband was 15 yrs older than she is so until u know the facts u should not open your mouth ! I am sure these 2 ladies paid a pretty penny for their crimes that they were caught doing so what have u done that u have not been caught at ? maybe u wont be so lucky next time !

  11. Echo on May 11th, 2011 8:36 pm

    WOW! I am astounded at the number of ignorant posts in response to this article.
    When has it become the norm in our society to sympathize with and feel sorry for CRIMINALS! Have you lost your minds!

    Let me tell you how 99.9% of the normal people in our society feel. These two ladies were in their 30’s when they committed their crimes, they were teachers, and they should be held to a higher standard. This wasn’t just a “little mistake”. THEY WERE TEACHERS WHO HAD SEX WITH MINOR STUDENTS!! THEY MADE THE DECISION TO COMMIT THE CRIME AND THEY DESERVE EVERYTHING THEY GOT, PERIOD! IT IS ABSOLUTELY 100% THEIR FAULT AND NO ONE ELSE’S. I DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR THEM, EVER. WHAT IDIOT THINKS THEY CAN SLEEP WITH A STUDENT AND NOT HAVE ANY CONSEQUENCES? They should go to jail, they should not be allowed to teach, and they should be registered as sex offenders.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to rethink their moral standards.

  12. Tired of hearing about it on May 11th, 2011 7:26 pm

    The majority of these comments are ridiculous. In the grand scheme of things, none of this is anyone’s business except for the parties involved. Yes, what they did was wrong, however, it’s NOT YOUR BUSINESS. I am not perfect and have never claimed to be. EVERYONE sins, it’s just that some people’s sins are more visible than others.

  13. HOME on May 11th, 2011 6:40 pm

    Home is always good. I need everyone to remeber these ladies have KIDS…. they will miss everything that their kidsor involved in, due to the HUGE screw up they done….We all forget the kids lost in this, LOST alot…Now they have their mom back lets give them a chance…Lets give there kids a chance to live without hearing the little whipers that go on behind their backs….I know their family was glad to have them home..

  14. robert on May 11th, 2011 3:09 pm

    I had a teacher that is now married to a girl that graduated a year after i did.

  15. poohbear on May 11th, 2011 2:37 pm

    I never looked at this way and that is a high price to pay for your mistake. Not only do the two females suffer but the children are the ones to suffer the most……I am a mother and grandmother and I would always think twice before doing anything that would hurt my family as my family is very important to me.

    ■JRES on May 11th, 2011 12:03 pm
    The release from prison is not the end of their sentence folks. They are required by law to register as sexual preditors, they are not allowed at school functions, they are not allowed to attend local sports activities, such as t-ball, baseball, football, and many other activities that involve children. including their own children. They have a long road in front of them, one day we will all forget, and allow them to carry on in our small community. they will for the rest of their lives be sexual preditors, a sentence for life…

  16. JRES on May 11th, 2011 12:03 pm

    The release from prison is not the end of their sentence folks. They are required by law to register as sexual preditors, they are not allowed at school functions, they are not allowed to attend local sports activities, such as t-ball, baseball, football, and many other activities that involve children. including their own children. They have a long road in front of them, one day we will all forget, and allow them to carry on in our small community. they will for the rest of their lives be sexual preditors, a sentence for life…

  17. KC on May 11th, 2011 9:51 am

    Oh yeah…….Welcome home ladies……and yes you are ladies!! My advice to you is to hold your head high and smile alot. These folks want to bash you for your mistakes , ignore the small minds. Its ok for the seventeen year old boys to run wild and sleep with their teachers, and you get bashed. I’m not saying it was right or ok, but you are not the only ones to blame. You have paid dearly for your mistakes , have these boys paid?? Remember the old sayin “It takes two to Tango”…………..again Welcome Home Ladies , Jay hasn’t been the same without you!!

  18. glad your home on May 11th, 2011 9:50 am

    April and Ashley,
    I am glad that you are back home with your families….I know what it is like to have a family member in prison and the worries that we have about the well being of a family member. I have a sister who went to prison a few years ago and just came home this year, and she was missed greatly, her children missed her the most. She was the center of there worlds, just like your are the center of your children worlds. Don’t let people get to you with comments, because most likely they have skeltons in their closets…….When my sister came home her family and true friends where the most important ones in her life. She is back to work now taking care of her children. She too knows what is like to have other people doing her job while she was gone. Having other people stepping in to take a role of motherhood. She is very greatful for that today. So my message to you two is to stay strong and hold your head high…..because now you have a new beginning.

    CASTING STONES IS FOR SOMEONE WHO IS SINLESS!!!!!!

  19. OMRBH on May 11th, 2011 9:45 am

    @KC………Oh come on! Hormones are running wild in boys of this age! They were not looking for a “mother figure”! They were looking for sex!

  20. KC on May 11th, 2011 9:40 am

    @ Mother……I don’t think anyone was sleeping , except the parents. Do you know where your children are? If you take control of your 17 year old boys , they might not hook up with another grown woman. They must be looking for a mother figure, because something they are missing at home……………..just sayin!!! These woman fufilled their jobs as educators………..something the parents failed to do.

  21. OMRBH on May 11th, 2011 9:17 am

    DHG said “REGARDING:
    “I despise society’s double standards”

    Not me. After close and careful study, I have determined men and women are different and believe they should be treated according to their differences.

    David enjoying difference”

    Yes David! Absolutely! Come on folks. The greatest fantacy of any middle school or high school male is to have sex with his favorite female teacher. I almost succeeded and a lot of you fellas did!
    These ladies just fulfilled a great desire of some of their male students. I can’t help what the legal system says, I’ll not consider these ladies criminals! Period!

  22. Never throw stones on May 11th, 2011 8:34 am

    I just wonder while everyone is bashing these women who did their time. Where are the parents of these 17 year old boys?? Had you known where your minor children were , this could have been avoided. Its wrong what these women as educaters done. But there is blame also for these childrens parents, that had no idea where their children were or what they were doing, shame on you as parents. If your involved with your children and know their friends and know where they are instead of turning them loose to run wild and get into trouble , you would not of had this problem……..learn from your mistakes, and quit throwing all the blame on these women who were educating you and your boys.

  23. mother on May 11th, 2011 7:39 am

    all of you who are welcoming them back to the community and are so forgiving, I bet you wouldn’t be doing this and wishing them well if it had of been your 17 year old sons they were sleeping with!

  24. Debbie Hart on May 11th, 2011 12:47 am

    Thank You Cathy Godwin for speaking the truth….I’m glad they are at home with their families.

  25. David Huie Green on May 10th, 2011 5:43 pm

    REGARDING:
    “I despise society’s double standards”

    Not me. After close and careful study, I have determined men and women are different and believe they should be treated according to their differences.

    David enjoying difference

  26. Joe on May 10th, 2011 5:41 pm

    I agree with all those saying it would have been different if it were male teachers.
    It is the same crime without reguard to gender but society puts a gender spin on it. males would have been given a much tougher sentence. This case will now be used to establish case law for other offenders and allow attorneys to argue for lesser sentencing as a result of it. A male convicted of the same crime (sex with a minor in the same age group) will be able to use this case to their advantage. I wish the judge would have considered that prior to imposing sentence.

  27. poohbear on May 10th, 2011 4:24 pm

    Ms Watson and Burkett are not kids…even though they may have acted like kids at the time. They were in bed with underage teens.

  28. JB on May 10th, 2011 4:21 pm

    Just leave it alone! The judge gave them the sentence and they done their time. It dont matter if they served more time because yall would still be on here making bad comments towards them. I just so happen to be the cousin of these kids yall are talking about. I love these kids to death. Yall are on here saying comments about the children. The children didnt have anything to do with this so leave them out of it, and in response to yall talking about their lives in the future and while this is going on, these children have carried out a normal life, playing tee-ball, football, and cheering and will keep carring it out the best they can. So until yall are 100% sure about the the future of these kids just keep them out of yalls mouth because our family intends on helping them through this. Aunt Ashley i’m glad you are home and safe.

  29. Molino-Anon on May 10th, 2011 3:31 pm

    If this had been 2 male teachers having sex with female high school students the males would STILL be in jail. I despise societies double standards.

  30. Miss K on May 10th, 2011 2:11 pm

    Let me just say that if these so called “WOMEN”,would have been thinking about there kids and families and community they would have never went to prison. So please stop throwing them a pity party. If it would have been two men educators who were sleeping with two minor girls, there wouldn’t be anyhting else to say they would have went to prison for at least 5 years before they would have even been eligible to get out. So boo freakidy hoo

  31. doofus on May 10th, 2011 1:39 pm

    Why is everyone so worried about their kids??? They weren’t worried about them… or their husbands, or their family members for that matter. They only got worried when they got caught. They are very lucky they weren’t male….

  32. Barbara Kilcrease on May 10th, 2011 1:18 pm

    Oh Ashley by the way I’m glad your home.

  33. Barbara Kilcrease on May 10th, 2011 1:15 pm

    You know one day this could be you, maybe not for the same crime but facing the same judge, I don’t think they got off light. I do not feel being in a prison cell for one second would be any kind of light sentence.
    I think you need to know the difference with a man( if you need to be told) is with a small child or very young child. The act in istself is not with a willing particapant, it is Very horricfic and sometimes deadly, you don’t mean to tell me these people, men and women who are sexual predators are in the class as someone who has intercourse, not rape, not sodomy, with consenting 17 yr old as in the case of one of these women? both were tried together but the offense was not with multiple juveniles in both cases. Get your facts straight! I’m not their judge and neither are you hateful, selfrighteous, phony,hypocrites.
    I for one am so thankful that the women are home with the families they had to leave behind.If you think what they got was so light in justice you spend the rest of the next 5 yrs having to do the same thing they have to do!
    So I say clean up that backyard of yours, before you take on someone else’s!!!!

  34. NeNe on May 10th, 2011 12:53 pm

    at concerned ..very well said!

  35. Kay on May 10th, 2011 10:27 am

    I agree with Really.

    I only feel for the children and I certainly think these two got off light……
    very lucky I was not their judge.

  36. WORRIED RESIDENT on May 10th, 2011 10:14 am

    When Dustin Burkett (28) was on here for sexual abuse charges (with a minor), some of you same people who are welcoming Ashley Burkett (33), and April Watson (34) back into the fold, were ready to hang him from a tall tree. What a diference a day brings! No one cared about how his family or future chilldren felt. I don’t know, but somebody knows somebody!!!

    They ALL had sex with CHILDREN!!! What’s the difference?!!?

  37. OldMarine on May 10th, 2011 10:00 am

    strange laws we have.

    Kids can now send each other naked pictures legally over their phones
    the guy last week may or may not have looked at pictures gets 5 years and touched no one
    teachers who go after and have sex with multiple juveniles get only 1 year.

  38. Jessy on May 10th, 2011 8:37 am

    NORTH ESCAMBIA…..

    Pray for these women and their families !! ……..I mean really, what’s the benefit of trash talking with incognito names about this situation???!

  39. Dorothy on May 10th, 2011 7:19 am

    So glad you are home Ashley and April. Good luck to you both.

  40. Really? on May 10th, 2011 1:55 am

    Ladies? Really? That isn’t the first word that comes to my mind…

    And I hate to burst your bubble, but you’re really not going to be able to insulate their kids from the real world. I understand where you’re coming from in trying, and I’m certainly not advocating that their kids be re-victimized by the public, but their mothers put them in this position to begin with and are really the ones responsible for the scars their kids will have for the rest of their lives. Sooner or later they’re going to know, for sure, that Santa Claus ain’t real and that their mommies weren’t made of sugar and spice and everything nice.

    I feel bad for their families, but I really don’t have any sympathy for these two, ahem, ‘ladies.’

  41. concerned on May 9th, 2011 9:49 pm

    Most of us screw up in life one way or the other. I hate these girls have messed their lives up. I feel sorry for the kids because people are so cruel. If people would do the right thing they would not discuss this in front of their kids. When kids hear their parents talking they will repeat, some because they don’t know any better and some because they don’t care. The girls served their time, so why can’t you let it go. Oh, I must not have kids???? Yes, I do and they were far from being perfect, and I will be first to admit that. I also know what seventeen year old boys are like…..and I seriously doubt they were raped. Get a life folks and quit trying to take away what little life these girls have left. Good luck ladies.

  42. Stacy Killam on May 9th, 2011 8:58 pm

    You know to me this is crazy.. Your right if they were men it would have been considered rape so what makes them so special they should have served just as much time as a man would for the same crime.. They are no better that the average rapist….

  43. moreinformed on May 9th, 2011 8:56 pm

    Looks like the prison photographer doesn’t have a side job with Glamour Shots.

  44. NeNe on May 9th, 2011 8:54 pm

    Ladies I wish both of you well in life. We don’t live in a perfect world.We makes mistakes along the way and we learn from those mistakes. Good luck and I hope life treat you well.

  45. pat on May 9th, 2011 8:38 pm

    for all have sinned – read your Bible – those without sin, please cast the first stone. My Bible says ALL HAVE SINNED! Ladies, I hope you’ve prayed about what you’ve done and repented. Life won’t be easy, but GOD forgives. Man – not very often. Be a proper parent to your children and raise them right!! God will be with you if you’re living a life for HIM.

  46. BJ Miller on May 9th, 2011 8:35 pm

    they are adults and the boys were not at the time. how would you feel it it was you son they were messing with? they were also married they should have been at home having sex with there husband not somebodys child!!!!! If you are from Jay you know it is all about who you are so i guess that makes it ok what they done.

  47. poohbear on May 9th, 2011 7:25 pm

    sure they served their time, but………….. if they had been home with their families instead of being with minors, they wouldn’t have had to serve time in the first place.

  48. Amy Sheppard on May 9th, 2011 7:14 pm

    Cathy I agree with you my friend. Well said.

  49. Cathy Godwin on May 9th, 2011 6:22 pm

    Leave them alone, they served their time and now it is time to move on. We all make mistakes and I am certain the ones that are casting stones can’t see a true image in their mirror every morning. Their children have missed them and these ladies deserve a second chance. If you can comment and don’t have the guts to put your name on here, that tells me all I need to know about you. Signature up or shut up. I am happy you are home April and Ashley, you were missed my many.

  50. David Huie Green on May 9th, 2011 5:58 pm

    both AFTER pictures look good

    Maybe we should send more women to prison

    David thinking aesthetically

  51. poohbear on May 9th, 2011 4:33 pm

    Don’t you think the children have wondered where their mom is already and why did they have to visit her in prison as I’m sure they did visit her during the year she was away. Children can hurt other children by saying things and not really know what they are saying and only repeating what they have heard from their parents.

  52. KB on May 9th, 2011 4:01 pm

    Uh Huh my response to you is I was referring to right now while they are small innocent children. That issue will be dealt with at that time. Let’s worry about right now and not down the road. Those children have several years ahead of them before it should be spoken. I see why you would make such a comment but understand why I did. I love her children and my concern is to protect them from people that have nothing better to do in this small town than to throw stones at people. I’m not making any further comments about this issue because it just needs to die down for their sake.

  53. Native Floridian on May 9th, 2011 3:24 pm

    @ uh-huh – I am sure the kids already “know” some of the story, as most children are very observant as adults not so much. When they are older it is for their parents to discuss with them adn no one else. . And until that point it is an “adult” matter. Let the children be children for it is a fleeting time.
    Unfortunately, some “poor mannered” “self-righteous” adult will think that they should tell their child the “whole story” and then at school or some other inappropriate place, their child will see fit to humilate them. I am sure that they have been through enough. They have walked in to a convience store and seen the mugshots on the front page of local papers in advertantly, probably caught a glimpse on TV, overheard friends parents “whisper”, etc.

    I am so glad that I don’t live in a glass house, and that I know I continually fall short of the grace of God. I don’t think I could stand to have the high opinion of myself like some of you seem to have.

  54. uh huh on May 9th, 2011 2:57 pm

    To KB: You say to refrain from making comments because of the kids. What about when the kids get older and find out why their mom got fired from teaching? How will they feel then?

  55. Rich on May 9th, 2011 2:03 pm

    You bad people need to leave these poor ladies along . They only had unlawful sexual activities ( if they were men it would be RAPE ) with not one ,not two, BUT THREE male students.They should be getting pats on there backs. And THANK GOD they were home for Mothers Day!!!!!!!!! Maybe they got Worlds Greatest Mom shirts!! So please no one say anything to these FINE UPSTANDING LADIES in public.

  56. lifegoeson on May 9th, 2011 12:58 pm

    It was not my boys, so, I cannot say how I would feel~but what I can tell you is… they may be out of ‘prison’, but they have begun their ‘life sentence’. Their life will be under a magnifying glass forever. Some of you will never forgive them for what they have done… but God does. Sure it was wrong, but lot of things are spiritually or morally wrong that people do everyday and either don’t get caught or it’s leagal to have sex with someone you are not married to as long as they are not your students. Life will be hell for these women with all the rejection from former friends, lack of job opportunities because of their record, and they will pay for the rest of their life. So, with that in mind, I say…give ‘em a break and let them try to put their lives back together as best they can…and stop all the hate and unforgiveness. Sin is sin in the eyes of God, so you who are w/o sin…who have never done anything wrong, throw the first stone.

  57. veteranmedic on May 9th, 2011 12:52 pm

    The laws that protect children sometimes are clouded. If a 16 or 17 year old male has sex with a 30 year old woman, there is no physical nor psychological harm same with a female-as long as sex is not forced. Now when you talk about under 16 yeah thats a different mindset and need for protecting. If my son has sex with a teacher when he is 16 or 17, my only fear is that she is hot…

  58. just wondering on May 9th, 2011 11:53 am

    I agree with hawghead, if this would have been male teachers they would have not been for a long time or if this had been a young male with a female just a few years younger than him he would have gotten 20 years, WHY is that??? woman are no better than men when it comes to things like this, if one has to spend half their life so should the other one.

  59. hawghead on May 9th, 2011 11:25 am

    If this had been two male teachers that got caught with female students, we would not be reading this article for another 15 to 20 yrs. It’s funny how the system works…..

  60. concerned on May 9th, 2011 10:53 am

    lets just call it like it is here…one year for molesting children entrusted to your care…..isn’t that nice!

  61. Rebecca Dortch on May 9th, 2011 10:35 am

    Ashley… so glad you made it home for Mother’s Day to be with your kids! I wish you all the best!!

  62. agreatmom on May 9th, 2011 10:29 am

    I personally think that the both of you should still be in prison and you should not have been able to spend time with your family and children. Your kids deserve a great mom and not a sexual predator. Did yall even think about them when you were having “FUN”? Probably not.

  63. KB on May 9th, 2011 10:06 am

    I just hope people can refrain from public mudslinging of these two women for the sake of their small children. I am in No way defending what they done but I am in Ashley’s family and I know she has learned from and has paid for what she done. I saw her children day in and day out miss their mom in their lives and all I am saying is for the sake of her two small children that don’t understand things let them live in peace. She served her time and will continue to pay for this bad decision but please just remember these two children are innocent and all they know is they are so happy to have their mom home.

  64. TwiggyRaye on May 9th, 2011 9:55 am

    I for one am so glad these ladies have finally made it home! They made a huge mistake and they have learned from that. I am so thankful they were home in time for Mothers Day and I wish them both all the luck in the world!! Welcome home Ashley and April!!!!!

  65. Tammie Dortch on May 9th, 2011 9:55 am

    Ashley… glad you got to be home with your kids on Mother’s Day.

  66. WORRIED REIDENT on May 9th, 2011 9:29 am

    I don’t know how good those BOYS looked, or how good they made these women feel, but I seriously doubt it was worth it!!!

  67. Citizen on May 9th, 2011 9:21 am

    Regardless of their crime, I find it interesting that they both look more at peace in their DOC photos. Hopefully they have made peace with what they did and can go on to lead productive lives.

  68. bamadude on May 9th, 2011 9:12 am

    Looks like prison agreed with Burkett…not so much for Watson!!





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