DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) – Kevin McLean, a Dripping Springs Middle School teacher and coach, has been arrested following a coordinated effort between Hays County Sheriff’s Office, the Austin Police Department and Dripping Springs ISD, according to an HCSO press release.
The Hays County press release stated McLean, 30, was located and taken into custody around 2:10 p.m. on Thursday after seven arrest warrants were issued.
McLean is facing four class A misdemeanor charges of sale, distribution or display of harmful material to a minor and three second-degree felony charges of distribution of controlled substance to a minor, according to HCSO.
In an updated statement provided to KXAN, Dripping Springs ISD stated it actively cooperated with law enforcement and will continue with its own investigation and is committed to the safety and security of all students.
According to DSISD, McLean was hired in August 2020 and passed the national background check required for all employees.
“Mr. McLean will not be returning to any campus or DSISD property, as DSISD had previously received and accepted his resignation unrelated to the recent allegations,” DSID wrote.
Search Warrant Details
A search warrant issued on Wednesday for the cell phone of McLean revealed details about allegations of improper relationships with three students between the age of 12 and 14.
KXAN did not previously identify the suspect involved in the case as no one had been charged. But Dripping Springs Independent School District did send a note to the middle school community. It also said it had contacted the families of the affected students.
“In an effort to keep our community informed, I wanted to let you know that we have taken prompt action to review a matter involving social media postings. We take all reports of misconduct very seriously and the employee has been assigned leave status pending the completion of a full review,” DSISD wrote.
According to the search warrant, the APD responded to a sex crimes service call on April 26. The call came from a family member of the suspect who also has ties to Dripping Springs Middle. The family member told APD about Snapchat messages between the suspect and three female students at the middle school.
The witness said the photos didn’t contain lewd acts but believed at least one photo showed a girl in her underwear or possibly “very short under-shorts,” according to the search warrant.
The search warrant reports the responding officer questioned the suspect about the allegations, who told the officer some students had reached out and asked the suspect to buy vaping products, but the suspect refused.
The officer reported that he viewed nine recent messages the suspect showed him. The Snapchats contained messages from one of the three students where the teacher and student appear to be coordinating a time and place to meet, followed by a picture of what the officer said appeared to be “consistent with mushrooms associated with narcotics use.”
According to the warrant, these messages and pictures provided the officer with enough probable cause a crime had been committed to collect the phone as evidence. The parents of all three of the students were notified.
The parents of one of the students recorded a conversation with their daughter about the messages. In the audio recording, the girl told her parents she received Snapchat messages from the teacher containing at least one sexually explicit video. She said the teacher also sent pictures, including one that said, “time to get high AF” and offered to let her use his THC vape pen, according to the warrant. That student also said she’d seen a sexually explicit video the teacher sent a third student.
DSISD said McLean was placed on leave on April 27 and has since resigned and is no longer allowed on campus. The district said he was hired in August 2020 and passed a fingerprint-based background check.
“[We] know these types of situations can be concerning,” DSISD officials said in a letter to parents. “Please know that it is always our priority and responsibility to provide your students with a safe and professional learning environment.”
Dripping Springs Middle School parent Tiffany Williams told KXAN her daughter is friends with the students at the center of the investigation, adding McLean was well liked at the school.
“From what I understand, the girls are doing OK,” Williams said. “It’s just unfortunate that it happened.”