Spring teacher accused of improper relationship

October 31, 2009 9:07:19 PM PDT
A male teacher and coach from Spring High School is now facing charges of having an improper relationship with a student. It's the second teacher from the school in less than a month to be arrested. The latest case involves a varsity coach. He was taken into custody last night.

The district has sent a phone message to parents alerting them about the arrest. They have also posted a letter on their website. That letter says that Matthew Tillman has been with Spring High School since July 1999 and that he was a history teacher as well as a volleyball coach.

On Saturday morning, the DA's office confirmed it accepted three felony charges against Tillman. Two of the charges are for an improper relationship between educator and student involving inappropriate electronic communications.

Spring ISD police say they began this investigation after receiving a report from a third party. This arrest comes just days after another Spring High School teacher was charged with having sex with a student. Deanna Higgins, 27, a science teacher, was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old student. Prosecutors say the teacher even left a pair of her underwear in the student's truck.

As you can imagine, parents near the school are alarmed over these two arrests.

"It is really scary to me. I didn't know there was a second one, that's bad enough," said parent Kathleen Martinez.

Another parent, Angela Davis, said, "I think it's sick. I think it's really sick. You talk with their parents and then you mess with their kids? I think it's a serious downgrade."

Spring High School Principal Donna Ullrich did issue a letter saying, "It is distressing to say the least that another teacher has broken the trust that parents and the greater community should be able to expect from every educator. Let me assure you that we have hundreds of fine, upstanding teachers in our school that would not break that trust, and we are committed to weeding out those who do."

Tillman remains in custody at the Harris County Jail. His bond is set at $150,000

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