Garfield Teacher Charged with Blowing 17-Year-Old Was 'Good Teacher'

By Tom Fucoloro July 13, 2010

A teacher at Garfield High School has been charged with First Degree Sexual Misconduct with a Minor after she allegedly went down on a 17-year-old male student at a June 23 party he threw while his parents were out of town. The teacher, Taryn Fairbanks, 33, told police she has an alcohol problem and was in the midst of a relapse when the alleged incident occurred, according to court documents. She admitted to having oral sex with the student. She moved to the Puritan city of Las Vegas earlier this month, presumably to dry up.

At Garfield, Fairbanks taught Language Arts and was the advisor to the school newspaper, The Messenger. Fairbanks resigned from Garfield effective June 30. It is unclear whether she had put in her resignation previous to the party or not. One June 29, however, a nosy mother complained anonymously about text messages she had read on her daughter's cell phone discussing the alleged sex act. Apparently, word of the B.J. had made its way all around school and even to other schools, Ted Howard, the Principal of Garfield High, told investigators.

The party was on its way when the B.J. recipient, named A.B. in the documents, got a text message from Fairbanks asking what he was doing. Knowing that she had attended student parties in the past and thinking it would be funny if a teacher showed up to his, he invited her to attend. When she arrived, she kept beckoning him via text message to join her in another part of the house. A.B.'s friends encouraged him to do it, so he went to her and she led him into a basement guest room and shut the door. She then performed oral sex on him.

Another student who was at the party told investigators that she also tried to hit on a different student at the party, but he rebuffed her.

Earlier in June, witnesses claimed Fairbanks had attended another student's party in North Seattle, where she drank and smoked pot with students. She allegedly had some sort of sexual contact with a former student, S.L., who is 19. When investigators talked to S.L., he refused to give details about their interaction other than to say it was not "sex." He told investigators that it was the first time he had seen her since he graduated in 2009 and that she was a great teacher.

When investigators spoke to Fairbanks, she said she went to A.B.'s house not knowing there was a party going on. Instead, she said she just intended to drop off some t-shirts and stuff for the school newspaper retreat. She admitted the sexual contact with A.B. and said she knows it was inappropriate and that she doesn't usually "hang out with students."

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