St Pius X High School teacher terminated due to ‘boundary-crossing behaviors’ toward students, school says

St. Pius X High School (Google Maps)

HOUSTON – A teacher at St. Pius X High School was terminated due to a pattern of “boundary-crossing behaviors involving students,” the school said.

The teacher was fired following an allegation he made inappropriate comments toward students.

The school said it received a report of alleged inappropriate conduct Wednesday and suspended the teacher, who has not been officially named, the same day. The school notified law enforcement and Texas Education Agency authorities while also opening their own investigation into the allegations.

The findings of the school’s investigation resulted in the teacher’s termination, the school said in a statement Friday.

“Our investigation has yielded evidence of a pattern of boundary-crossing behaviors involving students,” the statement reads. “They are antithetical to our culture, and we train teachers in how to avoid, identify, and report such unacceptable behaviors. For this reason, and with a heavy heart, we are separating from the faculty member at the center of the allegations, effective immediately.”

Read the school’s Friday statement in its entirety below:

On Wednesday, our Head of School wrote to share with the community the distressing news that we had received allegations regarding inappropriate comments made by a SPX faculty member toward students.

Consistent with our policies, we investigated these reports ourselves while also notifying the appropriate law enforcement and Texas Education Agency authorities.

Since then, our investigation has yielded evidence of a pattern of boundary-crossing behaviors involving students. They are antithetical to our culture, and we train teachers in how to avoid, identify, and report such unacceptable behaviors. For this reason, and with a heavy heart, we are separating from the faculty member at the center of the allegations, effective immediately.

As part of our continuing investigation and support of the authorities’ investigations, and we stand ready to listen should our current or former students have additional information they wish to share. We strive to provide a culture in which our students feel empowered to share concerns they may have with trusted adults within the school; our faculty and staff are trained to listen to these concerns with compassion and respect, and to elevate and report these concerns properly and discreetly. We are grateful to the students who came forward to report these behaviors, and we hope students will feel empowered to do the same if necessary now or in the future.

Mr. Daniel P. Martinez, Head of School comments, “We deeply treasure the gift of our children and the trust our community places in us, and we at St. Pius X High School will do all that we can to continue honoring it.”

St Pius X High School

Read the school’s Wednesday statement to parents in its entirety below:

Dear SPX Parents/Guardians,

St. Pius X High School is committed to maintaining a strong partnership with parents in our effort to provide the best education for our students in a safe and healthy environments. Key to the partnership is open communication. For this reason, I want to make you aware that a report was made alleging that inappropriate comments were made by a St. Pius X faculty member toward students.

The policy of St. Pius X High School is to investigate these reports immediately, working collaboratively with school personnel, the appropriate authorities and the SPX school board to ensure that a thorough investigation is completed and that all involved are cared for appropriately.

The employee in question has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of our investigation. While we cannot disclose any additional information at this time, I do want to make you aware that all families involved have been contacted by a school administration.

A follow-up communication will be sent upon completion of our investigation. While I understand that this situation is very unsettling, we want to reiterate that every member of our SPX faculty/staff continues to work diligently to create a safe, nurturing environment for our students.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, I invite you to reach me via email.

We sincerely thank you for the trust that you have places in St. Pius X High School. We value that trust, your children and our ministry tremendously.

Pax Christi, St Pius X High School

About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.