Teachers are placed in a position of responsibility for and authority over children, which makes their betrayal of those principles so disturbing when it happens.

That's certainly the case here.

An ex-Tomball Independent School District teacher has been charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child after an investigation of allegations from a former student of hers at Tomball Intermediate School.

The Tomball Police Department reports that they were contacted about the abuse on Monday, April 12. After working with the administrators and resource officers at Tomball ISD, as well as the Harris County District Attorney's Office, police arrested 31-year-old Marka Lee Bodine on Saturday, April 17.

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KPRC-TV in Houston obtained an affidavit that shines more light on what investigators say happened.

According to the affidavit, Bodine herself sparked the investigation when she told the principal at Tomball Intermediate School that she was being harassed by a former student who was threatening to harm himself and somehow gained access to private photos of her. She reportedly claimed that the student was manipulating those images.

Police searched both the student's phone and Bodine's and say they found sexually explicit messages and images had been exchanged. The student told investigators Bodine befriended him in an online game in 2018 when he was 13, and that he and Bodine engaged in sexual activity for three years. Bodine reportedly admitted to the abuse.

Police told KRIV-TV that the student was crying out for help when investigators became aware of the situation.

Sadly, this isn't the only case of a Texas school employee being accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student.

KRIV-TV reports that 49-year-old Helen Page of Aldine ISD found herself under investigation in January and resigned her position at the district in February.


 

I want to go back to the cry for help remarks from police in Bodine's case. I think that's something not to be taken lightly. One of the reasons I refer to this case as an example of abuse is that's what it is - sexual abuse. A kid that age is not emotionally prepared to handle a relationship like that.

You remember being a young teen and how turbulent and emotional relationships with people your age could be. Now, imagine all that crazy emotion and anxiety on top of the fact that your relationship is with someone in a position of power and authority over you who is likely pressuring you to keep it a secret.

It's bad enough that an adult took advantage of a child, but just think about what that kid went through on an emotional level because an educator couldn't be trusted to control herself.

I say this because I just don't want to read gross comments like "boys will be boys" and "I wish I'd had a teacher like that". Exploiting a child is never ok.

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