PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - A teacher at Palestine ISD is suspended after allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
The identity of the teacher has been released by the school district; Lauren Stewart has been arrested by Palestine police on charges of having an improper relationship between educator and student.
According to Palestine ISD, administration was notified of a “potential inappropriate relationship” between a teacher at the junior high and an adult high school student. Administrators than began to investigate the allegations and the Palestine Police Department was called in to aid with the investigation.
Palestine ISD said evidence of an off-campus relationship and alleged inappropriate actions, such as texts, on the part of the teacher, have been found.
At this time, the teacher has been suspended. Palestine ISD reported that their termination process will begin on Friday.
Palestine ISD sent out a press release on Thursday about the investigation:
Palestine ISD provides initial and ongoing training for all staff members in regards to appropriate and inappropriate behavior with students. Additionally, staff members understand that we do not communicate with students via text messaging without including the parent in the text message. Staff members are encouraged to use the Remind App in order to keep messaging completely transparent. In light of this recent incident, we will again provide training for all staff members in reference to student communication and relationships.
Palestine ISD has zero tolerance for staff members who participate in inappropriate relationships with students. Students should be free from these situations when they are at school, and staff members know this. Palestine ISD has disciplined staff members in the past for this type of behavior, and we will continue doing so in the future. Situations like these hurt many people including the victim, destroy the faith our community has in us as teachers, and are a major disservice to the many outstanding professional educators we have in our district.
We want to encourage parents to check your student’s texts and social media accounts. If you see or hear of anything that looks inappropriate, please contact your student’s campus principal immediately. Finally, talk to your student. Ask them how things are going in their life. And, let us know if we can help.