LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Hudson ISD kindergarten teacher admitted to having sex with four students, two at the same time and two others on multiple occasions, according to an arrest affidavit.
Heather Lee Robertson, 38, of Lufkin, is charged with four counts of improper relationship between educator and student.
According to the affidavit, a Hudson ISD police officer began investigating the case on April 20, after receiving information about inappropriate relationships between a teacher and several high school students.
The officer then spoke to each student. The first one said he started chatting and sexting with Robertson through Snapchat shortly after spring break and Robertson asked him to come to her apartment, so they could have sex. He said he was with a friend and asked if it was OK for him to come, too. She said he could and they went to her apartment.
The affidavit states they talked for a few minutes, and then Robertson got up from the couch and told them to follow her in the bedroom, and they had sex.
The second student also admitted to the encounter, according to the affidavit.
The officer then spoke to two other students, who admitted to having sex with Robertson on a few occasions. They said they would sneak out of their houses and Robertson would pick them up and take them back to her apartment to have sex and then take them back home.
The officer then spoke to Robertson, who admitted to the allegations, according to the affidavit. She said she had recently become a heavy drinker and would sometimes not remember the details of the encounters.
Robertson was arrested on the charges on Saturday.
Hudson ISD has section in the school district's 2016-2017 teacher handbook that deals specifically with inappropriate relationships between teachers and students.
"School employees are always in the public eye, and the expectation is that they will always observe professional boundaries in their personal relationships with students," the handbook states. "District policy also prohibits employees from having 'inappropriate relationships' with students."
In order to clear up any possible "confusion or misunderstanding," the handbook says the following interactions or communications with students would be considered an "inappropriate relationship:"
- Communications with students, whether by telephone, email, instant message, Twitter, text message, or any other form of electronic or digital communication at any time, unless the communication is directly related to your assigned duties and responsibilities, e.g., the student’s homework, class or team activity, school club or other school-sponsored activity."
- Engaging in personal conversations with students about either the student’s or your own personal relationships or problems with spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other.
- Taking a student away from school during the school day without obtaining express permission of the student’s parent or the principal.
- Visiting students at their homes when a parent is not present or inviting a student to your home without prior express permission of the student’s parent.
- Giving gifts of a personal nature (clothing, perfume or cologne, jewelry, etc.) to students at school or at any time without the parent’s knowledge and permission.
- Playing 'favorite,' e.g., allowing specific students to get away with conduct that is not permitted from other students.
DeEtta Culbertson, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency said that TEA officials tracks the number of cases involving inappropriate relationships between teachers and students by fiscal year. She provided numbers dating back to the 2009-2010 fiscal year. The number of cases has been increasing every year since then, according to the TEA's statistics.
In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, there were 141 cases statewide that involved inappropriate relationships between teachers and students. Back in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, there were 163 cases. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, there were a total of 222 cases statewide, Culbertson said.
Culbertson said so far in the 2016-2017 fiscal year (Sept. 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017), there have been 159 reported cases of inappropriate relationships between teachers and students. Robertson's case marks the fourth one involving an inappropriate relationship between and teacher and a student in Angelina County in the past four years.