Another Texas teacher has been accused of having an “improper” relationship with a student.

Alberto De La Cruz, 34, an athletics director at Newman International Academy of Arlington, was arrested last week and charged with improper relationship between educator and student, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison.

Newman International Academy is a public charter school with seven campuses in the DFW area. De La Cruz taught at the academy’s Gibbins secondary school in Arlington for seven years.

School officials said “criminal and administrative investigations determined that the educator’s interactions with the student were illegal, inappropriate, unprofessional, and unacceptable.”

Texas Penal Code defines an “improper relationship” as a primary or secondary school employee engaging in either sexual contact with a student of any age or sexually explicit communication with anyone younger than 17 years of age.

Arlington police reportedly led the criminal investigation after campus officials received a report last week that the athletics director was involved with a student. He was put on administrative leave during the investigation.

De La Cruz was arrested Friday in Waxahachie, where he resides, by the Newman International Academy Department of Public Safety and Waxahachie police.

NIA DPS said in a statement that De La Cruz “will not be returning to Newman International Academy and the conduct will be reported to the State Board for Educator Certification. The district has also reported the incident to Child Protective Services.”

De La Cruz’ Texas teaching certificate appears to be inactive as of April 30.

He was released from jail on a $35,000 bond.

Texas Scorecard has reported on dozens of Texas educators accused of sex-related crimes involving students and minors, as well as other illegal activity, and more “bad apples” are being charged almost every day.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.