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HURST (CBSDFW.COM) – A third grade teacher at Bellaire Elementary in Hurst won’t be returning to school, after an arrest on two counts of indecency with a child.
The Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD says it placed Angel Sales on administrative leave on May 21st, after he was first accused of inappropriate conduct with students.
Child Protective Services and the Hurst Police Department investigated the case, which resulted in a warrant.
US Customer & Border Protection agents arrested Sales August 10th, as Sales was re-entering the country from an unspecified location.
“When I heard it, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it,” said Alma Orta , whose son is entering the third grade at Bellaire Elementary.
The school is the third elementary in the HEB school district to be hit by allegations of sexual misconduct.
In December, a 17 year old was arrested for posing as a 12 year old and fondling a student at Hurst Hills Elementary.
Then, in July, the principal of Viridian Elementary was charged with trying to solicit a child online.
Orta says the news has prompted her to talk to her kids.
“Don’t let anyone touch you in your private areas. If they do, go to the principal or tell me right away,” she said.
In a phone message sent to parents, HEB ISD Superintendent Steve Chapman promised one thing.
“Mr Sales will not return to Bellaire Elementary and will not be employed by HEB ISD.”
That makes Orta happy.
“He will not be back. That’s good news,” she said.
Here is a statement released by the school district:
The Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD was made aware on August 11 that Angel Sales, a third grade teacher at Bellaire Elementary School, was arrested by the Hurst Police Department. The District learned on August 18 that the Tarrant County District Attorney accepted the charges against Mr. Sales.
Mr. Sales has been under investigation by the District, the Department of Family and Protective Services, and the Hurst Police Department since Thursday, May 21, 2015, when Mr. Sales was placed on administrative leave by the District, after allegations arose related to his conduct.
A letter, dated Friday, May 22, was sent to all third grade parents notifying them of the allegations of inappropriate conduct with students. The letter encouraged parents to contact the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services if they had any relevant information to report. The District fully cooperated with all state and city authorities investigating Mr. Sales’s conduct.
The District’s own investigation was delayed at the request of state and city investigating authorities. However, due to the nature of the allegations and the information available, the District reported Mr. Sales to the State Board for Educator Certification on Tuesday, May 26, following the Memorial Day holiday, in an abundance of caution.
Based on information from the District’s investigation, preliminary findings from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and information obtained from the Hurst Police Department, the District gave verbal notice to Mr. Sales on August 10 of the District’s intent to propose the mid-year termination of his employment contract and issued a written notice to Mr. Sales on August 11. Mr. Sales has not yet requested a hearing related to his proposed mid- contract termination, but is entitled by law to a hearing on request.
Questions have been asked related to the District’s screening procedures. The District goes beyond the state requirement in screening applicants who are recommended for employment. In addition to the statutory background checks run through the FBI database, the district is part of the Region 11 consortium, with JD Palatine, which conducts a county-by-county background search on each individual screened. In addition, references and other sources are checked related to selected applicants. The District has confirmed that all appropriate screening processes were in place in relation to the hiring of Mr. Sales, and is aware that Mr. Sales, under the nation’s criminal justice system, is innocent until proven guilty.
It is sad that today’s news might somehow overshadow the exciting beginning of a new school year for so many fine students and staff of the District. HEB ISD is committed to emphasizing the critical importance of maintaining a professional relationship with students while creating a caring and nurturing learning environment. This remains the expectation of HEB ISD.