News Roundup: TEA Says Investigations Of Improper Student-Teacher Relationships Are Up Significantly

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelAugust 22, 2018 2:25 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Texas leaders have called the problem of student-teacher relationships a “statewide plague.” And as Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies reports, the latest numbers show that plague is getting worse:

Last fiscal year, the Texas Education Agency conducted 302 investigations into improper student teacher relationships – the year before it was 222. So far for this year it’s 417.

That’s according to Doug Phillips, director of educator investigations at the TEA.

He says the significant increase is part of a disturbing trend. But it could also be attributed to a year-old law that requires principals and superintendents to report these relationships or face criminal charges.

“some of this large increase could be attributed to more reports by superintendents that maybe in the past they may not have reported.”

Phillips said the number of cases is expected to climb even more before the fiscal year wraps up at the end of this month.

“we’ve all been kinda talking about how high this thing was going to go and it may – we may see another dozen or so come in. I think that’s where it’s going to stop.”

Phillips says there is typically a surge in cases when students return to campus.

A group of men being held at an immigrant detention facility in south Texas are challenging claims by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the facilities are humane and civil.

The sixteen fathers at the Karnes County Residential Center say they were forcibly separated from their children last week by armed guards and sent overnight to another facility without food or water.

Texas-based immigrant legal aid group RAICES says the men had been involved in a non-violent protest.

ICE described their activities as a “disturbance,” and says they deployed “additional law enforcement resources to control the situation.” Some of the fathers spoke anonymously through translators, saying they feared retaliation for being publicly critical of their conditions. What follows is an English  translation of the fathers’ claim.

“They came to us in riot gear. They treated us like tremendous criminals, which we’re not. Our children are very worried that they’re even wanting to go to school. They’re afraid of them being separated again from their parents.”

ICE offered few details of the incident except to say no children were involved, because they were in class, and no one was injured.

Longtime Houston Texans Cheerleading Director Altovise Gary has resigned amid allegations of sexual discrimination.

A team spokesperson said yesterday that Gary resigned on her own, citing “personal reasons.”

The team gave no further comment on her departure, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Gary was a defendant in one of two lawsuits filed by former Texans cheerleaders earlier this year over working conditions.

Cheerleaders say they were body shamed and underpaid, and that the organization failed to act on complaints that cheerleaders were physically assaulted by fans.

Both suits have since been dismissed, and submitted to arbitration.