Former Maud teacher arrested

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Investigation into inappropriate relationship continues

 

By Heather Russell Wilson
Staff Reporter

According to law enforcement officials at Lamar County Jail, Michael D. Freeman was arrested on June 21, 2018 at 5:43 p.m. on a warrant out of Bowie County for inappropriate relationship with a student. Freeman was held at the Lamar County jail overnight, until posting a surety bond set at $20,000 and was released on June 22. 
Freeman was employed with Maud ISD until December 2016, when he took a job at Clarksville ISD.  Clarksville terminated his employment shortly thereafter for reasons unknown.   According to a grievance filed by a Maud ISD parent, Freeman is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a Maud student, and when this relationship was discovered by Maud school officials, was allowed to resign and accept a position with Clarksville ISD without this relationship being reported to Texas Education Agency, as required by law.  According to grievance documents, the relationship was eventually reported in January 2017.
The original grievance was filed in October 2017 against then high school principal Scott Sanders and his wife Amanda Sanders, Maud ISD counselor, for failure to report an inappropriate relationship between an educator and student.  
The grievance reached a level three, and was brought before the Maud ISD Board of Trustees.  This grievance was filed by Tonya Torbert, mother of three Maud ISD students and ex-wife of Scott Sanders.  Torbert’s Level 3 appeal stated, “ Amanda and Scott failed to report Freeman was around my kids and other students for another two weeks.  They passed him onto another school where he could do it again.  The Board knew about all of this as well.  Everyone would be guilty I (sic) he harmed another child.  Your status does not make you above the law.”  
The board made no decision on the grievance at the time it was presented, but shortly after, Sanders was placed on suspension and remained there until his voluntary resignation in March 2017.  
At that time, the terms of his resignation were unknown, and remained so until earlier this month, when The Tribune received the Voluntary Separation Agreement and Release, as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request made back in March.  
According to this agreement, Sanders voluntarily resigned his position as high school principal, effective March 12, 2018.  In consideration of Sanders voluntarily resigning his position, the district agreed to pay a settlement sum totaling $72,083.30, to be paid monthly in the amount of $7,208.33.  
The agreement also stated Sanders would turn over all district property, remove his personal items from district property, and assist the district in the leadership transition process.  
In addition, the agreement also states that no parties involved are to disclose any reason for entering into this agreement.
Within days of his resignation, Sanders’ teaching certificate was flagged by the Texas Education Agency as “under review by the TEA Educator Investigations Division,” and remains as such. 

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