MELISSA, Texas - A second Melissa High School teacher has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.
Darrell Glenn Whitten, 50, was arrested and booked into the Collin County jail on Friday.
Details about the case against him have not yet been released. However, Whitten was charged with indecency with a child, improper relationship between an educator and a student and failure to report child abuse.
The student told police she confided in Whitten that she was suicidal and depressed.
Whitten, investigators say, never reported those thoughts to someone who could help her.
Police said Michael Eugene Reddell admitted to fondling a 16-year-old female student in the band office.
The "incident began with texting eight or nine months ago and progressed to touching this spring and summer,” police wrote in an arrest warrant affidavit.
Whitten’s bond has not yet been set.
Psychologist John Jeffrey isn't involved in the case but can speak to the damage done when a teacher-student relationship crosses the line.
“It's completely confusing for a young person when the adult who is supposed to be giving them direction is the one who turns out to be untrustworthy or the one who seems to be using them or taking advantage of them,” he said.
From last September to this July, the TEA opened 174 investigations involving inappropriate relationships with a student or minor.
That's close to the 179 cases reported over a longer 12-month period in previous fiscal year and more than 141 cases reported in 2009 and 2010.
San Antonio-based education consultant David Thompson teaches ethics courses across the state.
He now sees districts looking for more ways to limit social media and after-hours communication.
Zoga SKYPE interview friday
David Thompson/Thompson Education Consulting Group
“They trust educators to do right by their kids and you know, 99.9999 percent of them do,” said Thompson. “It's just when these occur, it brings this issue to light and so school districts are really looking for ways to limit the personal electronic communications with students to protect both the students and of course, the educators.”
But when trust is shaken, Dr. Jeffrey reminds parents: don't underestimate how involved you need to be.
“Parents have to be very involved and you have to monitor your children's activities to make sure they're safe,” said Jeffrey.