PISD Staff Member Resigns Amid Allegations of Inappropriate Conduct
By LYNDA STRINGER
A male staff member at Pittsburg Independent School District resigned Tuesday amid allegations that he sent an inappropriate picture text to a student.
District Superintendent Judy Pollan confirmed in a written statement that the employee, who was not a teacher, had been suspended with pay on Monday pending an investigation into the allegations and then resigned on Tuesday, effective immediately.
Pollan told The Gazette by phone that said she could not release the employee’s name because it is an ongoing investigation involving personnel. She said no complaints have been made to the district or against the district by a parent at this time and no charges have been filed against the employee.
“It was an allegation only. There was no physical proof at all. There was no inappropriate relationship or anything. It was just simply about an inappropriate text,” Pollan said.
The investigation by the Pittsburg ISD Police Department is on-going, she said.
Pollan explained that the allegation had been brought to a faculty member’s attention and that faculty member reported it to a supervisor.
“A school employee overheard some students talking about a picture. He asked some questions about the topic of their conversation. The employee then reported what he had heard to his supervisor. The superintendent was then notified, and the investigation was initiated,” Pollan said.
Pollan said she could not reveal the student’s age or gender.
“I am not going to identify the age of the student for confidentiality reasons. It is of utmost importance that the student’s identity be protected,” she said. “This matter has been reported to Child Protective Services.”
Pollan also said she did not have an exact timeline on the date of the alleged incident.
The statement also included a portion of the Pittsburg ISD policy regarding employee standards of conduct. According to Standard 3.9, “The educator shall refrain from inappropriate communication with a student or minor, including, but not limited to, electronic communication such as cell phone, text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, blogging, or other social network communication. Factors that may be considered in assessing whether the communication is inappropriate include, but are not limited to:
· The nature, purpose, timing, and amount of the communication;
· The subject matter of the communication;
· Whether the communication was made openly, or the educator attempted to conceal the communication;
· Whether the communication could be reasonably interpreted as soliciting sexual contact or a romantic relationship;
· Whether the communication was sexually explicit, and
· Whether the communication involved discussions of the physical or sexual attractiveness or the sexual history, activities, preferences, or fantasies of either the educator or the student.”
“Results of this investigation will be turned over to the district attorney’s office when completed,” Pollan said. “If I am at liberty to make the results public, I will certainly do so.”
The Gazette reached out to members of the Pittsburg ISD School Board regarding the allegations, however, none were able to comment due to district policy.
Ellis Knox contributed to this report.