Female special ed teacher indicted for having a sexual relationship with middle school student in Texas

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Another female teacher has been indicted over allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. Rebecca Goerdel, 28, was arrested in March by the Grand Prairie police, the North Texas special education teacher accused of having a relationship with an eighth-grader during the 2016-17 academic year. Wednesday, she was indicted by a Dallas grand jury.

Goerdel was a second year teacher at an all-boys middle school called Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Kennedy Middle School. The Grand Prairie Independent School District learned of allegations of improper attachment to one of the students, including an inappropriate sexual relationship, the exchange of sexually explicit text messages, requests for sex, and kissing, all with an eighth grade male student.

The subsequent police probe by local law enforcement discovered “sexually explicit text conversations between Goerdel and the student, some of which came from ‘third party apps that have seen been deleted,'” according to WFAA.

According to reports, detectives then mounted a sting operation with the boy’s phone. They sent Goerdel a text message from the phone, and believing it to be him, she responded. She reportedly asked him to spend the night with her.

Police say the improper sexual relationship began in January, after Goerdel sent a nude photo of herself to the boy, asking him to render a sketch of her naked.

According to the arrest warrant, Goerdel admits to sitting on the boy’s lap in her car while they kissed, but she maintains they never had sex.

Grand Prairie ISD Superintendent Susan Hull said in a statement:

“This kind of conduct is outrageous and will not be tolerated. The teacher-student relationship is sacred. It reflects a vow from teachers to parents that their children are safe – as safe as they would be at home. When a teacher in Grand Prairie ISD breaks that vow, he or she will be dealt with quickly and aggressively. I encourage law enforcement to pursue all available action.”

After the grand jury’s indictment in the case on Wednesday, Grand Prairie ISD officials also released a statement:

“We are pleased that law enforcement has doggedly pursued this matter and that Goerdel is being held responsible for her conduct. The safety of our students is among the highest priorities of the Grand Prairie Independent School District and that starts in the classroom. We believe the teacher-student relationship is sacred. It reflects a vow from teachers to parents that their children are safe — as safe as they would be at home. When a teacher in Grand Prairie ISD breaks that vow, he or she will be dealt with quickly and aggressively.”

On September 1, Texas implemented Senate Bill 7, which mandates that educators attend ongoing professional development classes which reinforce appropriate boundaries, relationships, and communications with students, Brietbart reports. They explain in further detail:

“Since many of these illicit relationships start over social media, spiraling off into lewd text messaging and sexual activity, the law requires that school districts adopt written policies defining appropriate electronic communications among campus faculty, staff members, and students. Additionally, school administrators such as principals, directors, and superintendents can no longer shield wayward colleagues or fail to report incidences of these improper relationships, or they risk facing jail time and fines ranging from $500 to $10,0oo.”

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