CARROLLTON (CBS11) – The arrest of a high school teacher and track coach for secretly shooting video of girls undressing, now has students coming forward with long-held suspicions about the man.
Police tell CBS11 the six victims are only the ones they have been able to identify in the videos, but there are more victims who appear in the footage.
Now that Thomas is in custody, investigators hope students will feel safe coming forward with information some tell us they’ve kept quiet over the years.
Investigators say 54-year-old George Edwin Thomas secretly recorded female students undressing during R.L. Turner High School’s 2015 – 2016 school year, but freshman Perla Martinez said fears linger even now that he’s behind bars.
“Knowing right now that there’s a chance of him taking videos of us, it just makes me not want to go to the locker room,” Martinez said.
She insists suspicions about Thomas are nothing new.
“I would hear my friends saying that, they were like, something about this teacher doesn’t seem right because he was just a little bit off. Sometimes he would seem weird around girls,” Martinez said.
Senior Josh Placeres said when Thomas was his track coach, he would often hear from female athletes that the coach would have them change clothes in his classroom.
“He just locked himself in the classroom and watched these girls change and watch them stretch,” Placeres said.
Since he never actually witnessed it himself, Placeres said he didn’t feel right reporting what he heard, but now he regrets keeping quiet.
“I feel like I should have… go and tell other people about it,” Placeres said.
Now as police urge more potential victims to come forward, students hope more of their classmates will be quicker to speak up about possible warning signs.
“I think it’s important for students to reach out and tell the teacher if they don’t feel comfortable with a situation and how they feel and if they’re worried about something ’cause if they don’t, they might be late for them,” Martinez said.
The school district said it brought in additional counselors to the school Friday to address student needs.