There are two new alleged cases of Texas teachers taken into custody for sexual misconduct in the classroom. One, a male elementary school teacher in the Houston area, was charged with indecency after upskirting an eight-year-old girl with his iPhone. The other, a female Dallas high school teacher, was arrested for an improper relationship with a male student.
ABC-13 reported that Pasadena Independent School District (ISD) teacher Luis Pasos, 43, was criminally charged with two counts of indecency with a minor on April 27. Pasos was a teacher at Laura Bush Elementary for eight years. He has been under investigation over allegations of taking a lascivious photograph of the first grade student. Earlier this month Pasos denied the allegations to administrators. When the probe began, he resigned from his teaching position.
According to ABC- 13, a witness came forward saying he saw the teacher take out his iPhone and “hold it underneath the skirt of the victim.” In court documents obtained by the Houston ABC affiliate, it said that Pasos “destroyed the iPhone after realizing he had been caught” and “broke the phone by snapping it in half and throwing it into a storm drain.” It also noted that he “led police to the broken phone… where it was recovered.”
Court documents also revealed the alleged victim’s 14-year-old sister claimed Pasos acted inappropriately with her, back when she was in his class. The teen came forward after learning what happened to her younger sister.
“These charges are very serious and this behavior will not be tolerated in Pasadena ISD,” read a statement released by the school district. “The safety and well-being of our students and staff is of paramount importance throughout the District. When a teacher violates the trust of a child, it creates a great challenge for the majority of educators who truly care about the well-being of students. We will continue working together to provide an environment that is safe and secure for children learn.”
Upstate in Dallas ISD, Molina High School English teacher Mary Lowrance, 49, turned herself into campus police on Thursday morning, April 23. She has since been formally arrested for an improper relationship with a student.
CBS-11 Dallas reported that district police officer Craig Miller said his department was “made aware of the relationship after Lowrance admitted it to a co-worker.” He added that that Dallas ISD PD conducted several interviews, including one with the student. An arrest warrant was subsequently issued. Lowrance made the $5,000 bail, and is currently out of jail.
Breitbart Texas has reported on the troubling spike in these inappropriate sexual relationships. Recently, another North Texas high school teacher was charged with felony counts for lewd behavior twice in two months, for making more than one under-aged love connection.
The uptick is troubling, and not just in Texas. The nationwide epidemic prompted an independent study by Houston-based Drive West Communications, a research firm that tracks reports of such misconduct. It is headed up by Terry Abbott, a former chief of staff for the US Department of Education. He holds online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and text messaging responsible for the explosion of classroom sexual predators, charging that social media has “created an open gateway for inappropriate behavior,” including developing “improper relationships with students out of sight of parents and principals.”
In 2014, about 35 percent of the sexual misconduct cases between educators and their students involved social media nationwide. The Drive West Communications report revealed that 116 of the nation’s 781 recorded cases of sexual misconduct came from Texas. That revelation came on the heels of the Texas Education Agency (TEA), experiencing a 27 percent jump in this depraved behavior over a three year period, from 141 cases in 2009-10 to 179 in 2013-14. Between September 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015, 74 new allegations of incidences have been filed with the agency.
In response to the latest purported cases, TEA spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe told Breitbart Texas in a statement, “Parents expect their children to be safe when they are at school. Maintaining a safe environment is one of our highest priorities.”
“The vast majority of our teachers are working in an ethical and moral manner each and every day,” Ratcliffe emphasized. “However, when anyone suspects that an educator is acting inappropriately, it should be reported to TEA immediately so that we can investigate the situation.”
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.