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FBI, local authorities investigating Texas teacher for allegedly transporting student across state lines

August 23, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
FBI, local authorities investigating Texas teacher for allegedly transporting student across state lines

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Feds investigating Texas educator Stephanie Leann Lowery for transporting underage student across state lines.

KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

The FBI has joined local law enforcement to investigate a case involving a Texas teacher who reportedly transported an underage student across state lines.

Stephanie Leann Lowery, who worked in the Muleshoe Independent School District, was charged with illegal restraint of a person under 17-years-old. Lowery reportedly took a young student across state lines.

The 28-year-old educator left her teaching post on July 2nd in the midst of allegations that she acted inappropriately. Since then, the school district removed her staff profile from its website.

However, according to KLBK, Lowery worked at Watson Junior High School as a coach and a reading teacher.

Early this month, authorities in Muleshoe arrested and charged Lowery with the illegal restraint of a person under the age of 17. She posted a $1,000 bond and was released from custody the same day.

Currently, few details have been revealed regarding the allegations or the probe. Finally, on Friday, Muleshoe ISD released a statement. They indicated that school administrators received information “recently” that one of their staff members “may have engaged in conduct involving a student that violated the educator code of ethics and, perhaps, state law.”

The Muleshoe ISD statement also noted that state and federal authorities forbade them from “disclosing identifiable student information, as well as confidential personal information.”

The school district added that they followed the proper protocols once they were informed about the accusations against the woman. “Pursuant to the District’s personnel practices, the employee was placed on administrative leave, an internal investigation was initiated, and reports of the allegations were made to law enforcement authorities and the state’s educator licensing agency.”

Online documents for the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC), which is Texas’ teacher licensing agency, indicate that Stephanie Leann Lowery is certified to teach physical education in all grades. She also has a generalist credential for fourth through eighth grade. The SBEC waved her as “currently under review by TEA Educator Investigations.”

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) Educator Investigations (EI) Unit investigates purported cases of teacher misconduct.

Muleshoe ISD administrators said they will “cooperate with authorities to the fullest extent, and will coordinate its investigation with them.” They remarked that, upon completion of its probe, district administrators will ascertain what further action they will take based on the results.

The Muleshoe Police Department also published a statement that said: “We are currently working with the FBI on the investigation of this case,” As it is still ongoing, no further information is available at this time.”

Under Texas state law, the unlawful restraint of a person under 17-years-old is considered a felony, punishable by considerable prison time.

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