Parents claim substitute teacher molested their children at a Pasadena elementary school

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- The parents of two elementary school students are demanding more from Pasadena ISD after they claim a substitute teacher sexually assaulted their children.

The substitute teacher in question no longer works at Jessup Elementary School. But parents say their kids are still suffering.

"She's not sleeping. She's crying, she wakes up crying. She doesn't want to eat, she doesn't want to do much of anything. She's usually a very happy kid," said parent Ashley, who is in the process of moving her daughter to a different school.

Ashley is one of several parents who say a substitute teacher molested their daughters during a fourth-grade class in early October.

Two of those parents spoke out with their attorneys today, saying the district needs to speed up the criminal investigation.

"This is about the safety of children, and these families have the right to have some questions answered," said attorney Darian Conston.

"It's been so hard for us, and my daughter has been going through so much," said Marlene, another mother of a fourth-grade girl.

"It just hurts the most where your daughter dreams about this person every night. She doesn't sleep at night. She tosses and turns all night. She doesn't even want to go anywhere," Marlene said.

Marlene's daughter is starting a home-school program next week.

Both parents say the school district is not acting fast enough on the investigation. So far, no charges have been filed against the former substitute teacher.

"This happened during school hours during class time," said attorney Brennan Dunn. "It's our understanding there are multiple female children called one by one to him."

Pasadena ISD released a statement:

On October 5, 2018, Pasadena ISD received allegations that a substitute teacher at Jessup Elementary School had touched students in an inappropriate manner. Pasadena ISD takes all allegations of this nature very seriously. Accordingly, the Administration at Jessup Elementary took immediate action to remove the individual from their campus, notify District Administration, Harris County Protective Services ("CPS") and the Pasadena ISD Police Department of the allegations, and began contacting parents of the reporting students.
The accused individual is no longer employed by Pasadena ISD. To date, the District has taken all available courses of action to ensure the safety of its students. In addition to the reports made to CPS and the police, the District has also provided notice of the allegations involved in this case to the State Board for Educator Certification.

It is important for students, parents, and our community to know that all PISD employees, including substitutes, are required to submit to criminal background checks prior to being hired by the District. This background check includes fingerprinting checks utilizing Texas DPS's and the FBI's databases. To the District's knowledge, the individual involved in this case does not have a criminal history.

The Pasadena ISD Police Department's investigation is still active and ongoing. At this time, the Police Department will not release or confirm the identity of the accused in an effort to preserve the integrity of its investigation. The District continues to cooperate with CPS's and the Pasadena ISD Police Department's investigations. Presently, several students have been referred to Harris County for forensic interviews as part of the Pasadena ISD Police Department's investigation. This is a common step in the investigative process when allegations involve minor victims. In investigations involving multiple, minor victims, similar to this case, it is important that all leads are followed, and all evidence is obtained and preserved so the case can be presented to the District Attorney's office to determine if charges will be filed. If the District Attorney's office files charges in a case, the suspect would then be arrested and their identity made public.

The District is confident in the PISD Police Department's ability to perform a thorough investigation and we know that our police will work to ensure that any wrongdoing is prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by law. We ask that you continue to remain patient while our police diligently work this case.

Pasadena ISD appreciates your support of our students. Once again, the District and the Pasadena ISD Police Department ask that anyone with pertinent information regarding this case contact the Pasadena ISD Police Department at 713.740.0200.

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