Cleburne teacher arrested for improper relationship

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 15 at 6:35 PM

CLEBURNE — The head coach of the girl's soccer team at Cleburne High School has been arrested for alleged sexual relations with a student.

Chris Francis, 27, resigned abruptly on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Cleburne police confirmed his arrest on a charge of improper relationship with a student. Francis allegedly had sexual contact with a juvenile female.

Some parents were just hearing about it on Wednesday afternoon.

"My daughter, she just texted me [about it] from school," said Mary Schick as she waited for her daughter to get out of class.

Like many parents and students, Schick said she was surprised and saddened to hear the news.

Students also say purported details of the case are getting posted in social media, even though police and district officials are releasing little information.

"I hope it's not true, but I also know there are two sides to every story," Schick said. "I also know it's happening a lot."

Just in Texas this year, 33 teachers have been charged or convicted of having sex with students, according to a former Bush administration official tracking the problem. Education consultant Terry Abbott found cases for 13 women and 19 men. Officials didn't disclose the sex of one teacher involved. Most are in their 30s.

And at least 12 times, teachers used social media or texting with the students involved.

"It's scary. Very scary," Schick said.

Chris Francis has been with the Cleburne ISD for only one year. Before that, he coached two years at Irving MacArthur High, and one year at Nimitz.

Irving ISD reports no allegations against Francis. He resigned from that district.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, Chris Francis remained jailed on $40,000 bond.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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