Melissa HS parents, students react to teacher arrests

Students at Melissa High School started the school year Monday just days after two former teachers had been arrested for improper relations with the same student.

It wasn’t the way Melissa ISD wanted to start the new school year and most parents did not want to talk on camera about the incidents.

The school district said students were met with counselors and clergy on the first day of school.

“There's gonna be a lot of kids that need a lot of healing,” one parent told FOX4.

Michael Reddell was the Melissa High School band teacher. A police affidavit said Reddell began texting a 16-year-old student and that later turned into touching.

A second affidavit says the student went to another teacher Darrell Whitten, 50, and told him she was depressed and suicidal because of what had happened with Reddell.

Instead of notifying other teachers or the school district he's accused of indecency with a child with sexual contact.

"This is not an incident that's isolated in our school or in our city or in our country this is an epidemic that's happening in our country,” said Karla Gress, Melissa High School parent.

Whitten's attorney Alan Taggart released a statement saying Whitten denied all criminal allegations against him.

“Whether the allegations against Mr. Whitten arise from overly zealous questioning, misunderstanding, or otherwise, our hearts go out to the young lady for any harm she has suffered. It is our hope that the necessary legal processes involved in this entire matter are handled such that the inevitable damage associated with this type of litigation is minimized for all concerned.”

Because Whitten didn't tell anyone the 16-year-old had been abused and needed help he is also charged with failure to report child abuse.