Woden ISD superintendent reacts to former teacher arrest

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

WODEN, TX (KTRE) - The Woden Independent School District's superintendent spoke out today on the arrest of a former teacher, Kelly Searles, who is charged for allegedly having inappropriate contact with two students.

When Woden resident, Angel Babbs, first heard about Searles' arrest, her thoughts immediately jumped to a loved one.

"It's very disturbing, considering my child does go to school there," Babbs said.

Woden ISD superintendent, Brady Taylor, said the school district pays close attention to student and teacher communication, especially electronically.

"It's an unfortunate occurrence, that we wish would never happen," Taylor said.

Woden's electronic communication policy states that text messaging and similar forms of communication are prohibited between a student and a teacher, without the knowledge of the superintendent and other ISD officials.

"As far as the actual policy, we try not to allow that because there is a lot of danger with that," Taylor said, "And, so, we do not approve of any one-on-one. We want parents involved. We want parents to know we're contacting their child."

The policy states that exceptions are made for family members and situations that are part of the teacher's professional responsibilities. Searles resignation stemmed from the violation of this policy

"Now, there are ways to set up a group or something, with a team or a sponsor, or something like that," Taylor said.

Babbs is using what happened at their school to teach her daughter what to do, in that situation.

"Just to let her know that, if the situation arises to let an adult know immediately, or let her father or myself know," Babbs said. "And, she's pretty aware, in that aspect."

The electronic messaging policy, held under the state of Texas, also states that teachers have the right to withhold their contact information, from students.

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