TONASKET – A Tonasket High School Librarian was arrested May 20 for sexual misconduct with a student 19 years her junior.
Elizabeth Ann KinKade, 37, Tonasket, was arrested for sexual misconduct with a minor after admitting to school officials, as well as police, that she had been having an affair with an 18-year-old Tonasket High School Student. Although the student was over 18 and the affair took place off school grounds, in the librarian’s home and in her car, state law makes it clear that such conduct as a school employee is illegal.
Her employment with the school district was terminated Wednesday, May 21, according to Superintendent Paul Turner.
“School employee/student relationships are based on the trust that a student’s well-being is of utmost importance,” Turner said in a statement released by the district on Friday. “When this trust is broken, it is the duty of the administration and school board to react swiftly and directly.
” On May 19, Tonasket administration received substantiated evidence of misconduct by Mrs. KinKade. Mrs. KinKade, a classified librarian at Tonasket Middle/High School, was immediately put on administrative leave. A special board meeting was convened on May 21 to address this employee issue. Upon reviewing the evidence, the board voted unanimously to terminate Mrs. KinKade effective immediately.
” At Tonasket we hold the trust of student well-being at a very high level. I commend my administration and school board for their direct and swift decisions on this issue.”
Turner said he would have no further comment and that all information regarding the matter had been turned over to law enforcement.
High school principal Jeff Hardesty also had no comment when contacted. According to the Tonasket Police Report, School Superintendent Paul Turner and KinKade met Monday, May 19, with Kinkade’s union representative present and she admitted to the affair. Later that day, Tonasket Police and an Okanogan County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to KinKade’s home after she called 911 about a domestic dispute with her husband, Mark Allen KinKade. After his wife informed KinKade about the affair he allegedly fired a shot from a 9mm handgun into the air and then left the scene. She said she was worried about his safety, though not her own.
While the officers were taking her statement, Mark KinKade returned. They asked if he had a gun and he admitted he did, according to the police report. They ordered him to leave it where it was, but he reached into his pocket and pulled it out by the butt with two fingers and Tonasket Police Officer Audra Fuller confiscated it. Earlier the police had found a shell casing, but no indication the suspect had fired upon his wife, who was concerned that her husband was suicidal.
She said he had PTSD after returning from Oso, Wash., where he had been doing clean up work at the landslide there. Deputy Terry Schrable released the suspect and suggested he get a mental health evaluation.
The police report stated that Supt. Turner arrived on the scene and asked to speak with the librarian and advised the officers he may need officer assistance on the case afterwards. Turner returned and told the officers she had an affair with a student and that he wanted the Tonasket Police to investigate the matter since the school was within the city limits. The superintendent then left.
At one point the Mark KinKade asked to get a drink of water and while in the house, though not left alone, secretly took a set of truck keys and left the scene. Deputy Schrable pursued him and turned him around near Ellisforde. KinKade was placed under arrest for discharging a firearm in public.
It was during this incident that Elizabeth KinKade first told the officers of her affair with the student. She said she had believed she had not broken the law since the student was nearly 19-years-old and the affair took place off school grounds. Officers allowed her to be taken by her sister to the North Valley Hospital for a mental health evaluation.
On Tuesday, May 20, Officer Fuller questioned the student at the police station and he too admitted to the affair, saying the librarian and he had intercourse five times, all off school grounds. Fuller called Elizabeth KinKade to the police station where she made a statement, again admitting to the affair, which she said had been going on for one to two months.
Officer Fuller arrested KinKade for sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree and she was booked into Okanogan County Jail at 8:18 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20. She was released on her own personal recognizance on Wednesday. She is scheduled for arraignment in Okanogan County Superior Court on Monday, June 2.