Band teacher accused of sex with teen on campus

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Michelle Strickland, 23, is charged with improper relationship with a student for allegedly engaging in an ongoing sexual relationship with one of her students.

Strickland was an assistant band director at Stratford High School. According to court documents, Strickland and an 18-year-old male student carried on their relationship on school grounds during the spring semester of 2014. Prosecutors say the investigation was prompted by an anonymous email sent to the school principal in April.

Spring Branch ISD Police reportedly found Strickland and her band student often would engage in sexual contact -- including oral sex and kissing -- on school property, in one of the storage rooms in the band hall. The investigation revealed the two had intercourse at the student's home over spring break.

Spring Branch ISD Police Chief Chuck Brawner said, "The student admitted to it. She denied it."

During the investigation, a review of the student's cell phone confirmed the continued sexual communication between Strickland and the student.

"The text messages were explicit," Chief Brawner added.

Strickland turned herself in on Thursday and soon bonded out of jail.

Below is a statement from Spring Branch ISD:

    "After an aggressive investigation by the Spring Branch ISD Police, a former Stratford High School assistant band director, Michelle Strickland, has been arrested. Ms. Strickland has been fired by the district. She is now being charged in connection with an alleged illegal relationship with a student.

    Ms. Strickland, 23, served for one year, the 2013-14 school year, and was removed from the classroom and away from contact with students immediately after the start of an investigation into an allegation that she had an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old male student.

    Spring Branch ISD's number one priority will always be the safety of our students. We will take swift and decisive action against any employee who ever endangers a student. This type of behavior will never be tolerated in Spring Branch ISD. The bond of trust between our parents and students and the employees of the school district is critically important.

    We have worked closely with law enforcement officials on this case, and if these allegations are proven true, we urge the justice system to take the strongest possible action against this former employee.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the student who is alleged to have been the victim in this case, and with his family.

    For additional information, please contact the SBISD Police Department at 713-984-9805."

Strickland's attorney, Cristian Capitaine said, "I haven't seen any evidence supporting these allegations. The case was just filed today. We look forward to presenting her side of the story."
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