Former Leonard ISD teacher indicted for online solicitation of a minor

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LEONARD, Tex. (KXII) -- Back in 2014, Daniel Barker was working as an art teacher and football coach at Leonard Junior High.

That's when authorities say he began messaging one of his students, a 13-year-old girl.

"It started with social media and texting and then the messages back and forth got hot and heavy," said Fannin County District Attorney Richard Glaser.

We're told Barker, now 43 years old, wasn't arrested for the crime until earlier this year when investigators learned of the online relationship.

Leonard ISD told us in a statement Wednesday, "As soon as Leonard ISD learned of the investigation and arrest of the former employee, the district cooperated fully with local law enforcement to support them in their investigation."

They also stated Barker worked for them for one year, up until June 2014.

Glaser said Barker's contact was not renewed for another year. The school district did not specify a reason why.

"We believe it was because of this relationship or other improper relationships," said Glaser.

Glaser said the relationship didn't stop there, even after Barker moved to Oklahoma.

"Continued to have social media contact, texting contact and we believe physical contact as well."

Glaser said he applauds the school district and the Leonard Police Department for 'running a tight ship'.

"When you have a 41-year-old male communicating with a 14,13-year-old girl, they're impressionable, they're susceptible to pressure and bad things can happen," said Glaser.

Online solicitation of a minor carries a maximum 10 year sentence.

"We don't need people like this in the teaching profession."

Barker is out of jail on two $20,000 bonds.

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