Teacher sexual misconduct continues to impact Texas schools. In Houston, officials charged a kindergarten teacher with molesting a five-year-old girl. Nearby, police continue to investigate accusations that a substitute teacher kissed and improperly touched first graders at another elementary school.
Authorities arrested Houston Independent School District kindergarten teacher David Salisbury, 60, after a five-year-old female student accused him of fondling her in the classroom at Berry Elementary. KPRC reported, according to the criminal complaint, the girl said Salisbury acted inappropriately on several occasions, including one time when she alleged that he touched her “private parts” while the other students watched a movie in class. The girl told her mother about the purported molestation on September 20 after school. The parent then reported this to police.
According to the Houston Chronicle, this particular incident occurred in an area behind Salisbury’s desk full of dolls, pillows, and books called the “library” by the children, based on information contained in the court documents. As part of their investigation, Houston ISD police visited the classroom. They concluded students viewing the film would not have been able to see the alleged misconduct that happened behind Salisbury’s desk. Children’s Assessment Center officials interviewed the girl. She indicated she understood the difference between the truth and a lie. The court documents showed that the child told authorities Salisbury put his hands inside her clothes while the video played. She alleged her teacher sexually violated her a number of other times.
On Friday, authorities arrested Salisbury after obtaining a criminal warrant. They charged him with indecency with a child. Later, he was released on a $30,000 bond.
Houston ISD released a statement. It read, in part: “The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has accepted criminal charges against a kindergarten teacher previously assigned to Berry Elementary School following an HISD Police investigation into reports that he engaged in inappropriate conduct with a student.”
The statement continued: “The allegation was first reported to school officials in September at which time the teacher was removed from the classroom and an internal investigation begun. The administration also notified the school district and Child Protective Services (CPS) of the conduct. Police then presented their findings to the Harris County District Attorney…” Houston ISD also stated it “takes situations such as this very seriously, as the safety of students is always the district’s top priority.”
Less than 15 minutes away from Berry Elementary, roughly 20 worried parents sought answers from administrators at another Houston ISD campus after allegations surfaced that a first grade substitute teacher inappropriately touched and kissed students.
KTRK reported that school administrators removed the unidentified male teacher from Looscan Elementary late last week. A letter went home to parents Friday after several children claimed the substitute had them sit on his lap. The little girls told their parents he kissed them on the mouth and cheeks.
Monday morning, the frustrated parents waited outside on the Looscan campus as children arrived at school. They demanded answers from the principal and a district official, with whom some met with for nearly two hours. Parents also wanted to know why no punitive action against the teacher occurred.
“What’s happening with the suspect, what’s going to happen, and keep giving us the same answers,” parent Christina Gutierrez told KTRK about the questions and concerns addressed during the meeting. “They’re not allowed to say anything? It’s under investigation, and that’s the only answer we’re getting,” she continued. Houston ISD police continue to investigate the matter and have not filed any charges against the substitute teacher, to date.
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