A married science teacher grinned from ear to ear as she posed for a mugshot after being arrested on suspicion of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.

Sarah Fowlkes, 27, has been suspended from her job at Lockhart High School in Texas and faces up to 20-years behind bars for the alleged crime, according to the Daily Mail.

Fowlkes, who has worked as a biology teacher at the school since October 2014, was booked into Caldwell County Jail on Monday, hours after celebrating her birthday with her husband.

Lockhart police had obtained an arrest warrant for Fowlkes who turned herself in.

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Improper relationship between an educator and a student is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Detectives in Lockhart, which is about 48kms from Austin, interviewed a 17-year-old student who admitted to having sexual contact with Fowlkes.

Lockhart Independent School District duly suspended Fowlkes - who has been married since 2013 - pending an appearance before the State Board for Educator Certification.

School superintendent Susan Bohn said: "Lockhart parents entrust their children to us every day, and it is something we do not take lightly.

"Student safety is the district's most important priority. As soon as we learned of the report, we acted swiftly to involve law enforcement and CPS to conduct a thorough investigation. The district does not and will not tolerate any improper communication or contact between a teacher and child."

Local news reported that on her profile page on the school's website - which has since been deleted - Fowlkes wrote: "I have very high expectations of myself as a teacher as well as of my students and I hope that this will be a formula for achievement.

"I want this to be an enjoyable year for all of my students but also a productive, challenging and encouraging year with success for everyone."

Police in Lockhart said that this is the first time they have investigated a teacher for having an inappropriate relatinship with a student.

"Seventeen years old is obviously older but at the same time it doesn't make anything right," said Detective Jesse Bell to KXAN.

"If the kid is in school, parents trust the school to take care of their kids so it's definitely not right - that a teacher in a position of power over a student be able to take advantage of a student."