Former Reagan HS teacher arrested for sexually assaulting Lago Vista student

An Austin ISD algebra teacher has resigned after being arrested for sexual assault.

The victim is a 14-year-old student at Lago Vista High School.

The interesting part is they met on social media.

Facebook is what police say brought an AISD teacher and a Lago Vista High School student together.

An avenue that we're told can become dangerous.

"Social media can really be a two-edge sword. It can help build relationships and rapport with students. Teachers can use it to gather information and share information about assignments, projects and different stuff. We have to make sure that our teachers learn to be very cautious when friending students." says Chief of Police Eric Mendez, AISD.

It was on December 19th that Lago Vista Police got a report of a missing 14-year-old.

According to the arrest report - the teen returned home after six hours, explaining that she had been at the apartment of John Baird, a 9th grade algebra teacher at Reagan High School.

At first she said they watched movies and played video games together.

A few days later, when speaking to police, the teen began to cry and confessed they met on Facebook.

They had reportedly been sending each other messages for about a month when they decided to meet in person.

"We want our teachers and our staff to understand there are barriers and boundaries that you have to establish between you and your students, because you don't want to get to a point where it becomes gray. You start having uncomfortable conversations that just, one, don't appear right and two, they actually lead into something that could be considered innapropriate or illegal," says Mendez.

Police say Baird picked up the girl from Lago Vista High School, took her to his home and sexually assaulted her.

During winter break, Austin ISD Police were informed about the investigation.

"The district takes immediate steps to ensure that no other incidences or issues are occurring with this individual. The district has provided extra counseling services at the campus for students as they learn about the arrest, as they learn about the teacher, so that we don't have any other victims," says Mendez.

We're told Baird submitted his resignation with AISD on Monday after his arrest by Lago Vista Police.

Although the district doesn't think any Reagan High School students were harmed, they are asking that parents speak with their children.

"We want them to feel comfortable enough to come forward and tell us if they believe there was any type of concern they may have. It may not be anything, it may just be something that made them feel uncomfortable but we want to make sure we can look into it," says Mendez.

We called Lago Vista ISD, the superintendent said he could not give a statement yet since they were just finding out about the incident.

Baird is charged with enticing a child, which is a third degree felony.


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