HOUSTON—A Spring Branch Independent School District employee has been arrested and charged with an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Sonia Heredia, a 33-year-old paraprofessional formerly employed at Northbrook High School in Spring Branch ISD, was arrested and charged with an alleged improper relationship with a student. 

Court documents obtained by ABC 13 state a co-worker said she had noticed hickeys on Heredia’s back when they attended a June “Pride Parade” in downtown Houston. According to the co-worker, Heredia said she was flirting with a young guy at the time. 

Later, the same co-worker stated that Heredia admitted she was communicating with a rising senior at Northbrook High School. Court documents also claim Heredia said they were “already in love.” 

Although the student’s exact age is vague, court documents state the co-worker told officials Heredia had said he was 18.

Court records reveal Heredia initially lied about the nature of her relationship with the student. However, she later confessed, admitting the relationship began this past summer.

When asked, the student said the two had exchanged numbers. The illegal relationship progressed, and they spent time together outside school. The student admitted they had sex, and that it was consensual. The documents stated the two would go to the student’s sister’s apartment for this purpose. 

Upon receiving a complaint, the district police department opened an investigation into the alleged misconduct at the start of the summer.

According to a statement released by SBISD, Heredia was “removed from her position immediately after receipt of the allegation, prior to the start of this school year.” 

“Spring Branch ISD’s highest priority will always be the safety and well-being of our students,” wrote district officials. “The district will take swift and decisive action against any employee who endangers a student. This type of behavior will never be tolerated in Spring Branch ISD.”

State records show Heredia never received a teaching certificate. 

Heredia is the most recent to be added to Texas Scorecard’s list of “bad apples”—Texas educators charged with sex crimes against students. 

The problem of Educator Sexual Misconduct was examined in Texas Scorecard’s investigative series Predators in Government Schools (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4). In that series, it was shown how government schools have a toxic culture that allows Educator Sexual Misconduct to fester and metastasize. 

ESM and other forms of abuse were examined in season six of Texas Scorecard’s serial podcast Exposed.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.