Five teachers have been accused of having sexual contact with their students since last week, spurring the city's top education official to announce a crackdown on sex in schools.
The latest case was announced Wednesday as Joanna Hernandez, 27, was arraigned on charges of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a minor for allegedly kissing a 15-year-old student. Hernandez pleaded not guilty.
Two women teachers at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services in Manhattan were removed from their classrooms last week. Rhianna Ellis, 25, has been accused of having a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student, while Samantha Solomon, 29, allegedly had sex with a 17-year-old student.
Two men teachers also faced charges. Jermaine Reid, 27, was accused of having sexual relations with two female students, ages 16 and 18, at two different schools. Joseph Morales, 28, was charged with public lewdness and endangering the welfare of minors after he allegedly exposed himself repeatedly on Staten Island.
Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, in an e-mail message sent to principals Tuesday, said he would "use all means at my disposal" to remove sex offenders from schools and prosecute them.