Bonham ISD officials speak out about recent staff arrests

BONHAM, TX -- Another Bonham educator lands behind bars, this one accused of shoplifting.

It's the latest in a string of Bonham ISD staff who've been arrested.

Earlier this month, fifth grade teacher, Whitney Fox, was arrested for shoplifting $63.50 worth of items from Walmart.

This is the fourth arrest of a Bonham staff member in the past year.

Officials with the school district tell News 12 they are being proactive to protect students well being.

The most recent arrest happened May 7th, when I.W. Evans Intermediate fifth grade teacher, Whitney Fox, was taken into custody for allegedly shoplifting from Walmart.

This follows the arrest of three other current and former BISD staffers and it's leading to some serious concerns for parents of Bonham students.

"If you're teaching them one thing and then doing another, to me actions speak louder than words," said parent, Shamya Barnett.

Assistant Superintendent, Kelly Trompler, says the school district takes situations like these very seriously. She says they are aware of the charges Fox is facing.

"We have kept our students best interests and safety in mind," Trompler said. "We have immediately responded in this situation and placed the individual on administrative leave until we can conclude our part of the investigation."

Back in February, assistant football coach, Joshua Lehde, was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Ector. We're told he plans to resign at the end of the year. Former teacher, Adriane Connerly, and former para-educator, Brent Johnson, were arrested in May of 2013 for allegedly abusing a special needs student. Connerly's trial on charges of unlawful restraint-exposure to serious bodily injury and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is set for September. Johnson is set to stand trial on the same charges in August.

Trompler says when staff get in trouble with the law, the administration follows a strict procedure to do what is best for the district, but she cannot comment on exactly what that procedure is.

"We always put our kids first and follow policy," Trompler said. "We wait until we think the time is right and all the circumstances before we would ever put a teacher back in front his or her classroom."

Barnett says she believes the district should monitor their staff more closely, especially teachers, who are setting examples for young kids.

"Teach and do what you're supposed to do and you can have your own personal life, but be considerate of that," Barnett said. "You have these students and these are critical times. That's what the teachers are for to mold these children."

Fox is facing charges of theft over $20 and under $500. She is due in court in July.


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