James Garfield arrested: High Road School teacher charged with raping 15-year-old student in Wilmington, Delaware

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WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) – A New Castle County, Delaware teacher is now behind bars after he allegedly raped a 15-year-old student.

James Garfield was taken into custody on Friday. He is charged with two counts of rape and other related offences.

Authorities say Garfield works at Wilmington High Road School.

A now-deleted page on the school’s website listed Garfield as the 2021-22 teacher of the year. Part of his biography read, “Garfield enjoys building relationships with each student individually.”

Garfield was also recently named “College Professor of the Year”.

Investigators say the student came forward saying he was having a sexual relationship with his teacher “Mr. James”.

Garfield was taken into custody after police raided his home in the Norway Avenue unit block.

The police fear that there are no more victims. They ask anyone with information to contact them at 302-395-2756.

Garfield has been suspended, according to school spokeswoman Jennifer Leckstrom.

According to police, he is currently being held on $200,000 cash bond.

High Road School, located at 1200 N. French St, opened in 2004. According to its website, the school offers an “intensive, structured and individualized special education program aimed at strengthening academic and organizational skills, social and emotional capacities, sense of responsibility, professional skills and self-esteem.

Read the full statement released by the school below:

“Since 2014, the High Road School of Delaware has been a trusted community resource for high school students who need an individualized special education program. We set high expectations for our team members and owe nothing to less to our students and their families.As an organization, we take any violation of our policies seriously.

When school officials were notified of the arrest of the now-suspended employee, we immediately notified the families and our partner school districts. We are fully cooperating with the New Castle County Police Department as their investigation continues.

The hiring process for our school includes mandatory background checks, verification of appropriate licensure, and reference checks. We follow Delaware law and best practices in our recruiting. There have been no prior incidents or allegations involving this individual.

While we cannot speak in detail to specific situations involving minors or active investigations, we believe the alleged misconduct was an isolated incident and we remain fully committed to providing a safe environment for our students.”

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