KILGORE, Texas — A Kilgore ISD employee was fired this weekend after she was arrested for allegations of having an improper relationship with a high school student, according to the district.
Monica Sanchez, 21, of Kilgore, who was previously employed as an ESL aide, was taken into custody Saturday on charges of assault causing bodily injury, sexual assault of a child and three counts of improper relationship between educator and student.
In a statement from Kilgore ISD, a district official said they were made aware Friday evening that a Kilgore High School employee was arrested in an unrelated off-campus incident. This event led the Kilgore Police Department to launch an investigation into a possible improper relationship.
Following the investigation, Sanchez is facing criminal charges. KISD said that once officials were made aware of the arrest, her employment was terminated.
Sanchez was booked into the Gregg County Jail, but was later released on $26,000 bond.
Kilgore ISD said this is an ongoing police investigation and the district will continue to cooperate with law enforcement authorities.
In May 2017, Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 7 (SB 7), which aims to crack down on inappropriate teacher-student relationships in Texas. The law ensures teachers who engage in an inappropriate relationship with a student will lose their teaching certification/license and their taxpayer pension, and punishes administrators, superintendents and principals who turn a blind-eye to such misconduct.
The bill also requires school districts to adopt a written policy to prevent improper electronic communications between school employees and a student.
"Texas schools should be safe places for our children to learn and advance," said Gov. Abbott at the bill signing. "Texas schools are filled with some of the best teachers in the country, but unfortunately a small number of them have abused their position, and as a parent I find this abuse of trust abhorrent. This type of behavior is unacceptable, and Texas will protect its children from sexual predators in our classrooms."
Increased penalties for the crime could also include:
- Automatic termination and revocation of a teaching certificate for teachers that engage in improper relationships with students.
- Fines up to $10,000 on any superintendent or principal who neglect to report an improper relationship within seven business days of discovering it.
- Jail time for principals or superintendents who intentionally conceal an improper relationship.
- Suspension, revocation, or denial of the certification of educators who assist an unscrupulous teacher in obtaining a job at another school.
- Suspension and annulment of an educator’s retirement annuity for educators convicted of having an an improper relationship with a student.
SB 7 passed in the legislature with broad bipartisan support and took effect on September 1, 2017.