Petal elementary teacher arrested on sex charge

A 24-year-old female Petal elementary school teacher has been arrested and charged with sexual battery involving a 16-year-old male student.

Petal police arrested Loni M. Folks on the campus of W.L. Smith Elementary School this morning. The 5th grade teacher is charged with having sexual relations with a foreign exchange student, who reportedly was living with the woman and her husband.

Police began investigating the alleged incident after a complaint was filed by someone in the community. Police say none of the alleged encounters took place on school property.

Ms. Folks made her initial court appearance in Petal this morning.  Judge Sheila Smallwood set Folks' bond at $30,000 on the condition that Folks suspends all contact with the student.