HOUSTON — Parents are outraged, and school officials are facing many questions.
At a Houston Independent School District meeting last week, one father publicly testified that Patrick Pichler—former Sam Houston High School chemistry teacher and writer for a former LGBTQ publication—”recruited” his son for an “adult entertainment” show featuring a convicted pedophile.
“He published an article with a lot of students without authorization. He recruited my son. He also took my son to a drag show when he was underage, and it was really bad; it was a really bad experience,” the father told the school board. “He also put him next to this sex offender when he was out there with my son.”
The father showed a copy of Pichler’s article in About Magazine showcasing the underage students involved at the event without parental permission. One video shows the 16-year-old being led backstage to one of the drag performers, who can be heard saying, “Hey, boy,” before the clip ends.
Garza was also a featured guest at a “Drag Queen Story Hour” for kids at the Houston Public Library in 2019.
“There’s a lot of stuff. Nothing got done. I have a lot of info, a lot of videos, text messages, police—HISD has a lot of messages—it was really bad,” the father said.
The incident occurred in February 2019, and Pichler is no longer employed by the district. Nevertheless, the father’s testimony and video went viral online over the weekend, prompting a response from Gov. Greg Abbott.
I am directing the Texas Education Agency to investigate this matter. https://t.co/ZnRjf2Xfns
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 12, 2022
“I am directing the Texas Education Agency to investigate this matter,” Abbott tweeted.
On Tuesday, Texas Scorecard reached out to both the TEA and Houston ISD for comment and an update on the matter, but neither responded before publication. However, both released statements to local station KHOU earlier this week.
“The viral video making the rounds on social media references an incident from 2019. Houston ISD was made aware of allegations of teacher misconduct and launched an investigation in 2019,” wrote the state’s largest school district. “The teacher has not worked for HISD since April 2019. Because of laws requiring confidentiality in educator employment records, we are unable to release any further information.”
“The Texas Education Agency has received a complaint related to Houston ISD. The complaint is currently under jurisdictional review,” the agency wrote. “No further info available at this time.”
Texas Scorecard has frequently chronicled related incidents across the state—including a “child-friendly” drag queen show hosted at a Dallas gay bar earlier this month—as well as the growing number of Texas school districts that are now promoting LGBT sexual behaviors to children in the classroom.