A teacher in Bishop Consolidated Independent School District has been arrested and charged with five felonies.
The teacher, Andrea Pena, 28, taught chemistry, pre-AP chemistry, and forensic science at Bishop High School for almost five years before being investigated for having an improper relationship with a student.
On January 20, the Bishop Police Department began a criminal investigation after receiving a report from Bishop CISD administrators alleging that Pena was having an improper relationship with a student.
Pena was immediately placed on paid administrative leave by Bishop High School, and she later resigned.
On February 3, police obtained several arrest warrants for the teacher and arrested her at her home in Corpus Christi.
More sexual abuse in Texas schools. Something is wrong in the profession of teaching. https://t.co/4bOABLPXH5
— Protect Texas Kids (@protecttxkids_) February 8, 2023
Pena was arrested for five separate felony charges: improper relationship between educator/student, indecency with a child, sexual assault of a child, online solicitation of a minor, and tampering with evidence.
Despite the investigation’s outcome, the teacher’s profile remains on Bishop CISD’s teacher directory.
According to the Texas Education Agency, Pena’s teaching certificate has also not been flagged and remains valid through March 31, 2023.
Bishop CISD says they reported the allegations immediately upon learning of them; others dispute that characterization. One Bishop CISD student told local news media that people “knew about [the relationship] since last year.”
“A lot of people knew, but no one reported it and I was kind of surprised at something like this would happen,” said Madalynn Soliz, an 18-year-old Bishop CISD student.
Bishop CISD Superintendent Christina Gutierrez told K3 News:
I think that anytime there is a red flag that it should always be reported. Unfortunately, in this case, we didn’t have any reports and quite honestly, the report came in was not even anyone from the staff itself. It was someone from the outside that came in and made a report and alleged inappropriate behavior, so it wasn’t even our own staff or our own students made the initial report.
Meanwhile, Gutierrez refused Texas Scorecard’s request for comment.
Pena is currently at the Nueces County Jail, where she waits until she can post a $210,000 bond.