LEANDER—Rouse High School Principal Vincent Hawkins notified parents late Tuesday afternoon that a teacher was placed on leave five days prior following allegations that the teacher was in an inappropriate relationship with a student. 

In a letter to Rouse families, Hawkins wrote, “On Friday, February 16, 2024, Leander ISD was informed of a possible inappropriate teacher/student relationship. The staff person in question was placed on administrative leave that day pending an investigation by Leander PD and LISD.” 

If the teacher is charged with an improper relationship between an educator and student—a second-degree felony—and convicted, the teacher faces 2 to 20 years in prison. 

Hawkins said his reasoning for informing parents included that the incident was “likely to draw media attention.”

Local parent Perla Hopkins told Texas Scorecard the delayed notification by the district is an ongoing problem. 

“Families are not timely informed of severe incidents happening in Leander ISD schools,” said Hopkins. “Students, parents, and teachers have to speak up at school board meetings, the Capitol, State Board of Education, TEA; resort to exchanging information on parent groups on social media; and/or seek the help of investigative journalists for information or solutions regarding their children’s safety. This should never be the case.

“The campuses of Tom Glenn HS and Rouse HS have a combined history of covering up child exploitation and violent attacks involving students,” she said. “Families are often not notified until their child is picked up from school by ambulance or a teacher who has abused a student has already been arrested and charged with a crime. This leaves parents in the dark, while they should be helping their children cope with trauma and find professional help to move forward. In the case of the latest alleged incident at Rouse HS, it took an army of parents reaching out to the media to gain any information from LISD. This was only after learning about possible events through students’ TikToks and Snapchats.”

Hawkins said he is unable to provide any further details due to the ongoing police investigation. 

“The safety and security of all our students is our top priority at Rouse,” wrote Hawkins. 

However, if true, this is the third case of a Leander ISD teacher being involved in an inappropriate relationship with a student this school year.  

Another Leander ISD teacher, Michael Winters, was arrested last month in relation to a September incident involving an inappropriate relationship with a student. 

In September, Kirstie Russell, a math teacher in LISD, was charged with indecency with a child by sexual contact.  

Texas Scorecard has reported on dozens of Texas teachers charged with sex crimes involving students and other children.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.