HOUSTON (FOX 26) - There is disturbing new information about the Northside High School principal who was suddenly removed and reassigned by Houston ISD along with two of her assistants.
FOX 26 has confirmed that former Northside Principal Julissa Alcantar Martinez hired an orchestra director who had been previously convicted and served prison time for indecency and aggravated sexual assault of a child.
That ex-convict was 43-year-old mariachi instructor Jose Nino, who parents say taught at the high school formerly known as Jeff Davis for three years before students were abruptly informed he would not be returning in the fall of 2016.
FOX 26 has also confirmed Nino was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of sexual assault of a child and again in 2012 for public lewdness.
So how was a guy with this kind of dangerous record allowed to teach our public school students?
Turns out principal Alcantar Martinez hired Nino as a "vendor" avoiding the criminal background check teachers go through and paying Nino out of discretionary funds allotted to the campus.
While at Davis, Nino drew accolades as the orchestra director and his student mariachis even performed at high profile HISD functions.
And yet parents who spoke with FOX 26 are outraged that Principal Alcantar Martinez allowed a convicted sex offender to accompany their children on out of town band trips.
Houston ISD spokesman Tracy Clemons says in the immediate wake of the Nino disclosure, the District took corrective action to insure the hiring of educational vendors with criminal records would not happen in the future.
Clemons would neither confirm or deny any connection between Principal Alcantar Martinez's removal from Northside and her decision to retain a convicted sex offender to teach vulnerable students.
HISD offered Fox 26 the following statement:
In the summer of 2016, HISD was made aware of the alleged criminal history of a vendor at Northside High School (then Davis High School). That vendor was never a HISD employee. Immediately after learning the information about the vendor, the district took action. He has not interacted with HISD students since July 2016.
In the Fall of 2016 the district conducted a Compliance Review for vendors to ensure compliance with our background check requirements. Subsequently, the district implemented a Compliance Program run through our Ethics and Compliance department that ensures continued vendor compliance to the district’s background check requirements. The safety of our students is our top priority. If parents ever have questions about how we’re keeping their students safe, we encourage them to contact their principal, School Support Officer, or Chief School Officer.