The new year opened not all that differently than 2015 closed, marred by accusations of Texas teachers who crossed the line to engage in improper sexual misconduct with their students. The unfortunate trend means this shocking behavior continues to violate the trust placed in educators to protect pre-K to 12th grade public school children.
In North Texas, Murphy police arrested Aaron Russell Reza, 30, Tuesday. The Plano Independent School District (ISD) high school coach was charged with alleged improper relationship between and educator and a student and the sexual assault of a child. Each felony count carries a $10,000 bond, noted the Collin County Jail where Reza was booked and later released on $20,000 bail.
Court documents stated that a female student claimed Reza sexually assaulted her three times in August when she was 16-years-old. Two of those incidences occurred in Reza’s home in the Dallas suburb of Wylie and the third in Reza’s car when he drove the student to a football game in another suburb, Lewisville, WFAA 8 (ABC) reported. The teenaged girl told investigators that Reza gave her two credit cards to use. The Dallas Morning News added that the affidavit said Reza gave her $500 in cash to house sit and another $500 for her birthday and Christmas present, as well as other gifts such as jewelry, clothes, and money. The girl told police she attempted to end the relationship “but the suspect continues to pursue the relationship by text messages,” the affidavit stated. Over winter break, she told her parents about the situation. McMillen High School officials learned about the alleged sexual misconduct Monday. Principal Brian Lyons issued a letter to parents Wednesday advising the district placed Reza on administrative leave while the Collin County Sheriff’s Office conducted its investigation. McMillen’s athletic department lists him as the 10th grade football and 9th grade boy’s baseball coach.
Downstate, Tyseski Ardoin, 38, a former Beaumont ISD assistant football coach pleaded guilty to a charge of improper relationship between an educator and a student. In a plea deal Monday, he received seven years probation, according to the local ABC affiliate KBMT 12. Had he not pleaded guilty and this went to trial, Ardoin could have faced up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, if found guilty. He is no longer employed by the district.
In Houston, Cierra Nicole Crain, 28, a Humble ISD high school English tutor, was accused of having sex with a male student at her home and in her car. On Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle reported Crain was charged with the sexual assault of a child age 14 to 17 and of having an improper relationship with a student. The Houston newspaper reported school employees overheard students gossiping about a male student who claimed he had a sexual relationship with his tutor. When confronted by the Kingwood Park High School principal, the boy said they hooked up twice. He told police they had sex in Crain’s parked car in an elementary school parking lot after he received a Snapchat message from her. The boy said the two communicated “many times” over the mobile photo and video app. The other purported sexual encounter happened at her home, the boy asserted. KPRC 2 first reported on Crain as one of three area educators accused of sexual misconduct with an underage student in late December.
Also in the final days of 2015, Yes Prep Academy teacher Alexander Christian Anderson, 29, was accused of sexual performance by a child and improper relationship for fondling and texting inappropriate messages to a female student. The girl’s mother claimed she discovered texts and alerted school officials and police. Allegedly, Anderson asked to see the girl’s body in one of those texts and the girl sent a nude photo of herself, Houston’s KPRC 2 reported. He faces felony charges.
In past reports, Breitbart Texas has cited Terry Abbott, a former U.S. Education Department chief-of-staff who heads up the Houston-based Drive West Communications, which tracks this kind of sexual misconduct across the country. He holds social media (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and text messaging) responsible for creating “an open gateway for inappropriate behavior,” and teachers developing “improper relationships with students out of sight of parents and principals.” He underscored the wave of educator sexual deviance in the classroom extends beyond Texas, calling it “epidemic” nationwide.
In September, Breitbart Texas reported teacher-student inappropriate relationships increased for the seventh year in a row, reflecting a 53 percent increase in the number of these sexual misconduct cases investigated by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) over the period. Previously, Breitbart Texas reported a 27 percent jump in reported cases between 2009 and 2012-13; and the number of opened cases increased again from 179 in school year ending 2014 to 188 in 2015.
Last month, in response to these escalating cases, the Texas Senate Education Committee convened to seek solutions for the rampant teacher-student sexual misconduct and they looked at the role social media plays, Breitbart Texas reported. Abbott believes one big fix would be to ban all forms of private teacher-student communications.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.