A second North Texas high school teacher was taken into custody this week. The teacher is accused of sexual misconduct with the same 16-year-old female student who was allegedly victimized by the school’s band director who was arrested at the same school earlier this week.
Darrell Glenn Whitten, 50, resigned from Melissa Independent School District (ISD) on Thursday and turned himself in on Friday morning at the Collin County Detention Center although a few hours later, he was released on bond.
Whitten was charged with having an improper relationship with a student and indecency with a child, both felony charges. He was also charged with failure to report child abuse, a misdemeanor.
WFAA-8 (ABC) reported that the girl told investigators that Whitten kissed her on the side of the neck in December 2014 and then again several months later at a band competition. She also said he rubbed his private parts on her leg during one of the incidents.
The alleged minor victim told police she confided in Whitten about another “teacher’s inappropriate behavior” and that she was feeling depressed and having “suicidal thoughts” over it. According to the court records, the female high school student told Whitten that if she “were ever to come up missing to call the police or to talk to her friend.”
Whitten never reported this to authorities who could help her, according to investigators, and now faces failure to report child abuse charges.
The allegations on Whitten surfaced during the investigation into the other teacher, Melissa High School Band Director, Michael Eugene Reddell, according to detectives.
Breitbart Texas reported on Reddell, 38, who was arrested Tuesday on two felony counts of sexual assault and an improper relationship between an educator and the same girl. WFAA-8 says that he is now out on bail.
Whitten was hired by Melissa ISD on August 7, 2006 and was a Government and Economics teacher at Melissa High School, which is located in the Dallas suburb of Melissa. He resigned on Thursday, August 20, said school district Police Chief Kelly Davidson.
On Friday, Davidson responded to these two now former employee arrests. He said, in part: “Exhaustive investigations by Melissa ISD Police, Collin County Child Abuse Task Force, and other partnering agencies have resulted in the arrests of two former teachers, Michael Reddell and Glen Whitten. The arrests allege an improper student-teacher relationship during the 2014-15 school year.”
He also stated: “It is important for our community to know that school officials have removed all obstacles, empowering police to act swiftly. What was an internal investigation is now being handled by local officials.”
Melissa ISD Superintendent Keith Murphy called Friday “a tough day in Melissa, Texas” in a statement. He said, “My heart aches, and we are all saddened and shocked” to learn of Whitten’s arrest.
With the new school year starting on Monday, August 24, Murphy advised that “trained counselors and clergy will be available on the high school campus, for both students and staff members, to provide support during this difficult time.”
Melissa ISD is not the only Dallas area school district faced with multiple educators accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with students. In August, two Hurst-Euless-Bedford (HEB) school district employees were arrested and charged on allegations of sexual misconduct with minors — third grade teacher Angel Omar Sales, 25, who was accused of fondling up to five female students last school year, and elementary school principal Oscar Figueroa, 46, who was picked up by police for allegedly soliciting under-aged boys for oral sex, Breitbart Texas reported. A third HEB ISD employee was arrested on educator-student related sexual misconduct charges.
Also locally, Arlington ISD’s now fired teacher George Spencer “Mack” McKee, 56, was charged with possession of child pornography on Thursday. A thumb drive found at the district’s administration building after a recent meeting was viewed by another district employee viewed in an effort to locate the device’s owner. This individual discovered what an arrest warrant described as “photos of nude girls approximately 13-15 years old and also stories allegedly written by the suspect that indicated his desire to have sex with an underage girl, NBC-5 reported. The thumb drive traced back to McKee.
Arlington police said McKee worked at the district’s Boles Junior High School as a campus technology manager since May 2014.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) told KDFW-4 (FOX) that cases of teacher-student sexual misconduct are on the rise, although previously, they reminded Breitbart Texas that 334,000-plus public school teachers comprise the overwhelming majority of teachers and they act in an appropriate and ethical sexual manner.
Breitbart Texas reported that Terry Abbott, former U.S. Department of Education chief-of-staff, said that nearly half of the cases in Texas last year “involved secret social media texting connections between teachers and students.” He said banning all forms of teacher-student private electronic communication would help to remedy this problem.
San Antonio-based education consultant David Thompson echoed Abbott’s sentiments. He told KDFW-4 that he sees districts looking for more ways to limit social media and after-hours communication.
TEA tracks data on reported cases of inappropriate teacher-student sexual misconduct on a fiscal school year end basis and they release those findings annually.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.