Pine Creek High School theater director Carrie Barnhardt-Roberson has been accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of her students. In an interesting turn of events, the student is denying it ever happened.
Carrie Barnhardt-Roberson has been suspended and accused of sleeping with one of her students, but that student and a number of others are protesting the suspension, saying that the accusations are a lie.
At Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Carrie Barnhardt-Robertson, who was Colorado Theater Educator of the Year in 2008, hasn’t been seen in its halls since February 27, 2018. School officials remained mum about the reasons, but Colorado Springs police stated that they are investigating accusations by an anonymous tipster that Barnhardt-Robertson had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student.
The school board issued the following statement:
“We are following the proper protocols, both internally and with local law enforcement, to better understand the facts of this situation. we can verify Carrie Barnhardt-Roberson is the theatre director at Pine Creek High School. However, because this is both a district personnel matter and an ongoing investigation with the Colorado Springs Police Department, we cannot disclose any details of the situation.”
According to the student, the accusations are not true. His fellow theater students are backing both him and their teacher up.
Claims of False Accusations
17-year-old Ryan Maikell says that he was pulled out of class on February 27 and asked if the anonymous tip about Maikell having an affair with Barnhardt-Robertson (or “BR,” for short) was true. Maikell denied the accusations both to the school and in public.
Maikell emailed a number of students and teachers about the incident, saying:
“These accusations have no validity and were falsified by someone who has the intention of ruining the theater program BR has worked tirelessly to build, BR’s reputation and BR’s life.”
Protesting the Suspension
Other theater students concur with Maikell’s statement. Many feel that the accusations may be a way of punishing the theater program, which has been pushing progressive themes in its productions like homosexuality, suicide, and domestic violence.
Currently, the theater students are working on a production of the musical Echo of Love. Many members of the production are quitting in protest, claiming Barnardt-Robertson is being unfairly accused.