A former Texas high school educator named “Teacher of the Year’” is set to be fired after she was accused of having an “ongoing relationship’ with a teenage student.
Brandyn Hargrove, 43, a teacher at Brazoswood High School in Clute, was arrested Dec. 21 on six counts of sexual assault of a child, four counts of indecency with a child by contact and two counts of indecency with a child by exposure, KPRC reported.
The school district placed Hargrove on administrative leave in September when it was notified that the alleged victim, who is now in her 30s, told police that she had an “ongoing relationship” with the teacher from age 15 to 17.
The incidents occurred off-campus, Clute Police Chief James Fitch said after a two-year investigation, adding that witnesses played a key role in the probe, according to ABC 13.
“Unfortunately, this happens more and more these days,” Fitch said. “Since that time we have other laws in effect, the improper relationship between educator and student was not in effect back then. But your kids go to school and you trust the teachers with that and then these types of things happen.”
The top cop added that police are “unaware of any other victims,” KHOU reported. He urged anyone else who may have been victimized to contact the department.
The school district said in a statement that after being informed of the charges, it “took immediate action and placed the employee on administrative leave to ensure that the employee did not have contact with students. As a result of these charges, the district has initiated employment-related actions to separate her employment.
“Please know that our responsibility to care for and protect the children entrusted to us is never taken lightly,” the statement continued. “Brazosport ISD expects the highest standard of professionalism and integrity from its employees to ensure a safe learning environment.”
Parents and sources told KPRC that Hargrove is a former Teacher of the Month and Teacher of the Year who was well-respected in the community, where many parents said she and her family are well known.
“She’s won numerous awards. She sat on our education foundation for the district,” said Mike Walls, whose son is a current student and his oldest son had Hargrove as a teacher years ago.
“I think every parent is concerned about this,” he told the outlet.
Hargrove was booked into the Brazoria County Jail and later released on a $240,000 bond.
Under the law, Hargrove will remain on paid leave until the board meets later this month to take action to terminate her employment contract.
Her attorney, Aaron Perry, declined to comment to KPRC about the charges, which have no statute of limitations.