AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police confirmed on Tuesday a Baldwin Elementary School teacher who died earlier this month was under investigation at the time of his death.
Local law enforcement agencies involved are not releasing much information, but the Travis County District Attorney’s office confirmed on Tuesday no charges have been filed and APD had just begun its investigation.
Austin Police confirm it is investigating an allegation made against the teacher by a juvenile and added that the incident appears to be isolated. The Hays County Sheriff’s Office says part of APD’s investigation involves alleged nude photos.
In a statement, APD went on to say all parties have been notified, and due to the teacher’s passing and the open investigation, it feels it would be inappropriate to make any further comments until more facts can be gathered. APD is asking that anyone concerned about the case, or anyone with relevant information to call the APD Child Abuse Unit at 512-974-6880.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services tells KXAN it was also involved in the case, but closed their side of the investigation when the teacher died on April 15. None of the teacher’s children had been removed from his home, according to a DFPS spokesperson.
KXAN is withholding the teacher’s name because he was not charged with a crime.
Hays County investigators are looking into the teacher’s death which occurred in the Dripping Springs area. It says no foul play is suspected, but it is waiting on the results of an autopsy. A GoFundMe page full of condolences has raised more than $40,000 for his family.
School administrators scheduled a parent meeting Wednesday at Austin ISD’s Baldwin Elementary from 6 to 7 p.m. to discuss the situation. The principal sent the following two letters to parents:
Dear Baldwin Elementary Community:
It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of our long time and much-loved fifth grade teacher [name redacted].
[name redacted] has served the Baldwin Elementary community and inspired many students and staff with his love for learning and his dedication to all children. He is survived by his loving wife, [name redacted] and two children. He will be missed and our prayers and heart-felt condolences go out to his family, friends, coworkers and loved ones.
The news was shared with staff this morning and will be shared with our fifth grade students throughout the day. Additional counselors will be on campus to support students and staff today and tomorrow. If your child is already aware of the circumstances, please know that not all students have been told and ask that they wait until an adult has discussed the incident with their class before discussing amongst each other. It is important for children’s feelings to be acknowledged and to help them understand that it is okay to feel sad or cry.
It is also appropriate if they do not feel anything right away. Sometimes it can take a while for feelings to surface. When those feelings do surface, it is important to clear up any misconceptions and to be honest.
Some helpful responses include:
1. “I can see that you are really hurting.’
2. “It’s very hard to accept the death of someone you know.”
3. “I know it may seem unbelievable.”
Out of respect for the family we ask that you protect their privacy. If you feel your child needs to talk further with someone, please do not hesitate to send a note to school with your child or call the school counselors Angela Gomez-Pena or Lindsay Myrick at 512-841-8900.
Once they are determined, we will share plans for any memorial services. We at Baldwin Elementary appreciate our supportive parents and your thoughts.
Jennifer Murray Principal, Baldwin Elementary School
Dear Baldwin Elementary Community:
I continue to be inspired and appreciative of all the support and concern being offered by our Baldwin community during this difficult time.
The safety and security of all AISD students is and continues to be our number one priority. We take safety concerns regarding our AISD community very seriously and will investigate them thoroughly when they arise.
I have been notified that AISD Police is currently collaborating with law enforcement agencies to include the Travis County Child Protection Team to address concerns regarding the passing of [name redacted]. Any impacted families have been notified. Currently there is no information indicating that any other AISD students or staff is involved in this incident. There is no other information I can offer at this time.
As always we encourage our parents, students, and staff to be involved and report any issues that may impact the immediate safety of our AISD Community.
Jennifer Murray Principal Baldwin Elementary School