Highland Park ISD teacher arrested for improper relationship with student

Published: Dec. 11, 2017 at 6:34 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2017 at 9:52 AM CST
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AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Highland Park Independent School District has issued a statement regarding a teacher who may have been involved in an improper relationship with a district student.

On Tuesday, Dec. 5, Amarillo Police Department detectives received information on a possible improper relationship between an educator and a student.

On Thursday, Dec. 7, 25-year-old Brian Pantoja was arrested and booked into the Potter County Detention Center.

Pantoja resigned on that same day, effective immediately.

The district says they have reported this incident to Child Protective Services and the State Board of Educator Certification.

Highland Park ISD Superintendent Jimmy Hannon released this statement regarding the issue:

The Highland Park ISD Administration received a report from local law enforcement on Wednesday evening December 6, 2017, that a Highland Park ISD teacher may be involved in an inappropriate relationship with a female District student. Highland Park ISD fully cooperated with law enforcement, and acted immediately to coordinate its own investigation with the authorities into the allegations of misconduct. On the afternoon of December 7, 2017, the District obtained a resignation from the teacher, effective immediately, and he ceased to be employed by the District.

The Amarillo Police Department will determine whether to pursue criminal charges in this matter. The District has reported this incident to Child Protective Services and the State Board of Educator Certification was notified that the teacher resigned when there was evidence that he was involved in an improper relationship with a District student. The school administration will continue to cooperate with these agencies as needed, and to the fullest extent permitted by law. Student safety is a paramount concern to Highland Park ISD. The District's policies concerning improper personal relationships between staff and students is strictly enforced. Employees receive regular training and administration encourages anyone with information of a suspected improper relationship should immediately contact the office of the Superintendent or the Amarillo Police Department.

State and federal law prohibit the District from disclosing personally identifiable student information, as well as confidential personnel information. Therefore, the District cannot comment further on this matter. Please be assured that the District has taken steps to keep its students safe and I am grateful for the efforts and cooperation of the Amarillo Police Department.

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