PITTSBURGH – An elementary school teacher who resigned this month was obsessed with one of her 11-year-old students, encrypting her phone number on the girl's math homework, exchanging thousands of text messages with her and even talking of running away with her, authorities said Wednesday.
Geraldine Alcorn, 28, was arraigned on charges of child luring, corruption of minors and attempting to interfere with custody of the child. She was jailed after being unable to post $100,000 bond.
Police don't believe Alcorn's attraction to the girl was sexual but said she continued to leave gifts and letters for the girl at school even after the girl's mother complained and Alcorn resigned, according to a criminal complaint.
Online records don't list an attorney for Alcorn, and none appeared on her behalf at the arraignment.
Alcorn and the girl exchanged 2,400 text messages in the two weeks before the mother discovered the messages, letters and items the teacher gave her, police said.
"On Feb. 13, 2015, school staff were made aware of concerns that a teacher had developed an improper attachment with a Pittsburgh Beechwood student," Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Merecedes Howze said Wednesday. "In keeping with the school district's procedures, the teacher was immediately placed on suspension while those claims were investigated."
Alcorn resigned March 2, Howze said.
Police say Alcorn still tried to contact the girl after that despite knowing police and school officials were investigating and having been warned by police to not contact the student.
Alcorn returned to the school on Friday, March 13, to collect her personal belongings, and on the following Monday, the girl found "gifts and several letters, some encrypted, in her locker and desk," according to the criminal complaint. "The letters, written by Alcorn, instructed the 11-year-old female to contact her."
Alcorn hid her phone number on a math worksheet by telling the girl to dial numbers that had been circled, police said.
The girl's mother told police Alcorn had visited their home without permission while the mother was working.
The mother then found 21 stickers and letters in the girl's school binder, plus two letters the girl wrote to Alcorn with three headings: "Things Ms. Alcorn and I can do," ''what we can do," and "when we can do it," the complaint said.
The girl told police she and Alcorn kept their relationship secret and, authorities said, after the "hundreds and hundreds of text messages and several gifts, Alcorn was able to lure the 11-year-old female into her house."
Among other things, Alcorn discussed adopting the girl or taking her from her home, police said. After that, according to the complaint, Alcorn told the girl "they would 'be on the run' for a while."