Lawyer: Teacher didn’t grope stu­dent

In­no­cence ex­plains her grin­ning for mugshot, he says.

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - From wire ser­vices

Why did a Texas teacher ac­cused of hav­ing an im­proper re­la­tion­ship with a stu­dent smile in her mugshot? Her lawyer has of­fered an ex­pla­na­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Dallas-Fort Worth’s KXAS, Ja­son Nas­sour, at­tor­ney for Lock­hart High School anatomy teacher Sarah Fowlkes, said she was grin­ning be­cause she’s in­no­cent.

“This isn’t a guilty per­son sit­ting there like they just got caught,” Nas­sour told KXAS. “When ev­ery­thing’s fleshed out, it won’t be as it ap­pears.”

Lock­hart po­lice be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent March 10 af­ter a school ad­min­is­tra­tor re­ported that “an ed­u­ca­tor at the school may be hav­ing an in­ap­pro­pri­ate re­la­tion­ship with a cur­rently en­rolled stu­dent,” ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

A 17-year-old stu­dent claimed, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit, that Fowlkes, 27, touched his gen­i­tals and that he “made con­tact with the de­fen­dant’s breasts.”

Fowlkes was ar­rested on a charge of “im­proper re­la­tion­ship be­tween ed­u­ca­tor and stu­dent,” po­lice said. The school dis­trict also sus­pended Fowlkes, the Austin Amer­i­can-States­man re­ported.

“Lock­hart par­ents en­trust their chil­dren to us ev­ery day, and it is some­thing we do not take lightly,” Lock­hart Su­per­in­ten­dent Su­san Bohn said in a state­ment. “The dis­trict does not and will not tol­er­ate any im­proper com­mu­ni­ca­tion or con­tact be­tween a teacher and child.”

Bohn also alerted par­ents about the ar­rest and sus­pen­sion in an email.

Nas­sour told KXAS that Fowlkes “was ar­rested on the state­ment of a 17-yearold kid with no cor­rob­o­rat­ing ev­i­dence.”

Fowlkes, who taught anatomy and phys­i­ol­ogy and en­vi­ron­men­tal sys­tems at Lock­hart High, pre­vi­ously taught science and so­cial stud­ies at Plum Creek El­e­men­tary School.

The Hous­ton Chron­i­cle, cit­ing Fowlkes’ so­cial me­dia ac­counts, re­ported that she has been mar­ried since 2013.

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