Irving police say an elementary school music teacher inappropriately touched a young girl in the classroom for years.
Edmund Barrera, 50, turned himself in on an indecency of a child charge. He'd been under investigation for several weeks after parents started coming forward back in April. But it was a case they learned about last week that led to the arrest.
There is a great deal of concern among parents at Lee Britain Elementary School. They're being told that there is evidence that the accused teacher has been assaulting multiple students over the past few years at school and during the school day.
Irving police say they were investigating three cases of possible simple assault in which students were allegedly touched inappropriately at the school until last Tuesday when police say they learned of a 10-year-old girl who told them Barrera repeatedly "molested" her through her clothing on campus during school hours.
"There are indications that this may have been going on for some years where this child attended that school,” said Irving Police Officer James McLellan. “So we're definitely open to the possibility that there are other children out there."
Irving police say there are at least seven other cases being investigated now that involve allegations of unwanted touching — simple assault.
Some parents said they were first learning about it Monday afternoon from a handout statement by Irving ISD. Others say their children had told them about accusations against Barrera weeks ago.
“I heard about from my daughter,” said parent Teresa Miles. “They were speculating about it, but no admin or teachers had told me about."
One mother who did not want to go on camera said she and another parent first went to the school district six weeks ago with allegations of abuse against their daughters. Not satisfied with what they were told there, she says they went to police.
"Just because the teacher has been here for several years, I feel like that they are representing the teacher more than they're trying to protect students,” the mother said.
“Our cases involving the two original victims on the report has been open since April the 9th when the one parent came to the station to report it,” McLellan said.
Barrera is charged with indecency with a child and is being held on a $50,000 bond. Police say any parent with concerns that their child may have been inappropriately touched is asked to contact Irving police.
An Irving ISD spokesperson said Barrera has not been on campus since April 9 when police opened their investigation.