North Platte high school teacher arrested for sexual assault of student

A North Platte High School teacher is charged with sexually assaulting a student.
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 9:27 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2023 at 9:31 AM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - A North Platte Public School teacher is in jail and accused of sexually assaulting a student.

David D. Cooper, 46, was arrested Wednesday at the high school, where he’s been a teacher for the past 16 years. He was arrested after a School Resource Officer contacted Police in reference to a possible inappropriate relationship between Cooper and a student.

Cooper appeared in Lincoln County Court Thursday afternoon via video conference. He is charged with sexual abuse by a school employee.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Cooper started a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student in November 2022 and it continued until the time of his arrest. The affidavit shows nearly 50,000 text messages were exchanged between Cooper and the student including several that were sexual in nature. Cooper told the victim their relationship was illegal and that if they were ever “compromised” they would have to delete the content on their cell phones, according to the victim’s statement to police.

The affidavit says Cooper and the victim had sexual contact multiple times, including at the school after hours.

A judge set Cooper’s bond at 10 percent of $250,000. He faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. Due to the severity of the crime, the judge ordered Cooper to have no contact with the student or anyone under the age of 18. He is not allowed on any school property. He was also ordered not to have contact with his children until he speaks with his attorney to get that revised.

According to the school district’s website, Cooper is a math teacher at the high school. He has been placed on administrative leave.

The North Platte Public School District released the following comment:

“While we cannot share the specific details of this personnel matter, we can assure you that North Platte Public Schools remains committed to educating our students in a safe learning environment. Additionally, we will continue to work with law enforcement throughout this investigation. The North Platte Police Department is handling this ongoing criminal investigation; we cannot elaborate further.”

Cooper was also the school’s long-time speech coach and was named 2021 CNFL Coach of the year. However, later that year he was relieved of his coaching duties due to an unrelated incident.