Attorney says Jessup Elementary School failed to protect children

Lawyers representing parents of Jessup Elementary students say they're looking into filing a civil lawsuit against the Pasadena Independent School District after a substitute teacher was accused of molesting several fourth grade girls in his class.

The lawyers say the school district appears to have failed to protect the children at Jessup Elementary by not immediately taking action against the teacher who substituted on Thursday, Oct. 4 and Friday, Oct. 5.

"It's our understanding that at least one school administrator was told on Thursday, and it's our understanding that nothing occurred in terms of separating him from the children at that point," says attorney Brennen Dunn.

The lawyers say the molestation started on Thursday, but more girls were molested on Friday because nothing was immediately done to stop it.

"The question then becomes: What, if any, administrators were made aware and could have prevented the occurrences that happened on October 5th?," says attorney Darian Conston. 

The parents of two nine-year-old girls joined the lawyers at the news conference.

"She's not sleeping much," says Ashley Deaton of her daughter. "She's crying at night, wakes up crying. She's depressed. She's not eating."

"She doesn't even want to go anywhere, to a restaurant, to a store, anywhere," says Maurlen Sandoval of her daughter. "She feels like he's around or he's in the restroom."

"As a father, you wouldn't even want to know what went through my mind," says Samuel Uribe of the daughter he shares with Sandoval.

Uribe and Sandoval say they've switched to homeschooling since the incident. 

Deaton says she's searching for a safer school for her daughter.

The teacher has been barred from working in Pasadena ISD, according to the principal of Jessup Elementary.

"At this point, the substitute teacher has not been arrested," says Dunn.

Pasadena ISD police are taking the lead in the investigation.

While police have not released the teacher's name to the public, the lawyers representing parents say they have gotten a hold of the name.

"Based upon simple Google searches, we were able to match his face with a sex offender registration in Maine for child pornography," explains Dunn.

The teacher was subjected to a fingerprinting background check before he was hired, according to Pasadena ISD. The Texas DPS and FBI databases show the teacher did not have a criminal history, according to Pasadena ISD.

Since the Oct. 5 incident, the school district has reported the teacher to the State Board of Educator Certification, so that if he tries to get a job in another school district, a red flag alert will be associated with his name, even though he has not been charged to date.