A North Texas middle-school teacher was indicted by a Dallas grand jury Wednesday on charges that she had an inappropriate relationship with an eighth grade student. The allegations include exchanging sexually explicit text messages, kissing the boy and asking him to have sex with her.
According to Breitbart, 28-year-old Rebecca Goerdel was a special education teacher at the Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Kennedy Middle School in Grand Prairie, Texas. Police arrested Goerdel in March for inappropriate behavior with an eighth-grader during the 2016-17 school year.
School District officials learned of Goerdel’s actions last March and placed her on administrative leave. Local police launched a probe that found sexually explicit text messages between Goerdel and the boy. A detective then texted Goerdel from the boy’s phone. Believing it was the boy, she responded by asking him to spend the night with her.
The arrest warrant also alleged that Goerdel sat on the boy’s lap in her car. Goerdel said they kissed but never had sex. The relationship allegedly began in January when Goerdel sent the boy a nude photo of herself and asked him to sketch a picture of her.
Cases of teacher sexual misconduct have been a problem that has escalated in Texas public schools over the past eight years.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) plans to release its report on cases of teacher-student sexual misconduct in the last school year. Breitbart Texas received a preliminary 11-month report that shows 282 opened cases between September 1, 2016, and July 31, 2017—a number that already surpasses the 222 cases during the entire 2015-16 academic year.
The state legislature recently implemented Senate Bill 7, the new deterrent law aimed at curbing incidences of inappropriate teacher and student sexual misconduct.
SB 7 mandates that educators attend ongoing classes to reinforce appropriate boundaries, relationships, and communications with students. The law also requires school districts to adopt written policies defining appropriate electronic communications between faculty and students. Additionally, school administrators who shield colleagues or fail to report incidences of these improper relationships, risk jail time and fines ranging from $500 to $10,000.