Photo: Harris County Sheriff's Office
Michelle Schiffer, 24, pleaded guilty to an improper relationship with a student on May 7, 2018.
A Cypress Springs High School teacher faces
the possibility of 20 years in prison for having sex and smoking
marijuana with a 15-year-old student when she goes before a Houston
Michelle Schiffer, 24, pleaded guilty in May
to one charge of improper relationship with a student and is scheduled
to be sentenced by state District Judge Robert Johnson.
“We are hoping for a fair outcome, taking
into account that Michelle has a clean criminal record and is very
remorseful about what she’s done,” said her attorney Grant Scheiner.
Cases of teachers being arrested for improper
relationships appear to be on the rise in Houston and across the state,
according to recent media reports.
In April 2017, the Texas Education Agency had
opened at least 150 investigations into possible teacher-student sex
across the state during the 2016-2017 school year, according to the San
The Austin-American Statesman reported that
from January 2010 through December 2016, the TEA recorded 686 teachers
in Texas permanently losing their teaching licenses following
allegations of impropriety with a student.
Scheiner said the former teacher plans to
publicly apologize to the complaining student and his family, as well as
Schiffer, who taught world history, admitted
to meeting with a former student for sex at least twice during the
summer of 2017, according to court records.
The teacher and student first met up at a
Chick-Fil-A in Cypress, then went to a friend's apartment to have sex,
court records show.
During their second encounter, Schiffer
picked up the student in a park and drove around smoking marijuana. She
pulled over on a neighborhood street and the two had sex.
Another student made an anonymous complaint
about the relationship to school officials in November. Schiffer and the
student both admitted to the allegations after police interviewed both.
Following the criminal complaint, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD removed Schiffer from campus and placed her on administrative leave.
Schiffer’s case is similar to 24-year-old
Alexandria Vera, a former Aldine ISD middle school teacher. Vera was
sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to a
first-degree felony for having a long-term sexual relationship with a
13-year-old student. During that relationship, she got pregnant and had
In that case, Vera admitted to the
relationship in exchange for a sentence decided by the judge with cap of
30 years in prison. Her attorney had argued for probation in the
In a separate Houston case, a former
counselor at a KIPP school faces three charges of indecency with three
different girls that came to light last year.
Brandon McElveen, 34, was charged with three
counts of indecency with a child, and investigators have said they
believe there may be more victims at the KIPP Explorer Academy on
Lawndale. The former counselor was initially arrested in October
following accusations that he'd molested an 8-year-old girl under the
guise of checking her for lice, according to court documents.
After those alleged misdeeds came to light
when KIPP Houston Public Schools released a statement announcing his
termination in light of a pending investigation, two other victims came
Those additional students told authorities of
a pattern of abuse, and one said it went on once or twice a week from
the time she was in kindergarten to fourth grade.