A former Krum ISD band director was indicted by a grand jury Thursday after police said he had a sexual relationship with one of his students.
Steven Scher, 30, was working as an assistant band director in the Krum school district when he was arrested in June 2015. An arrest affidavit states that Scher kissed, touched and had sexual relations with a then-17-year-old student over the course of two months at his Denton apartment.
He was charged with conducting an improper relationship between an educator and student and was released from jail after posting $7,500 bail.
The Texas Penal Code defines an improper relationship between an educator and student as a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
According to the affidavit, an anonymous tip led Krum police to question the student, who was resistant at first because she said she didn't want Scher to get into trouble. She later told police she would go to Scher's apartment "two to three times a week."
When he was confronted by Krum ISD Superintendent Cody Carroll in June 2015, Scher initially denied the relationship but submitted his resignation, the affidavit said. Later that day, he told police he and the student had been dating for two months and physical contact had occurred.
Police obtained a warrant to search Scher's apartment and vehicle, which included checking electronic devices such as his personal computer and cellphone. He was arrested the next day.
Scher had been at Krum ISD for a year and had previously worked as the drumline director for the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.
The former band director joins a long list of educators in Texas accused of having improper relationships with their students.
The Texas Education Agency said it investigated 222 cases of improper teacher-student relationships in the past fiscal year.
The Dallas Morning News reported in January the agency had opened 97 new cases since Sept. 1, marking a 43 percent increase from the same period the previous year.
A bill that would punish school officials who don't report such relationships unanimously passed in the Texas Senate last month. The bill would saddle school officials with criminal charges if they try to hide or don't report teacher-student relationships involving former employees.
Legislators hope the bill will stop the so-called "pass the trash" practice, in which teachers who engage in such conduct are able to be rehired in other districts.
Staff writer Britney Tabor contributed to this report.
CAITLYN JONES can be reached at 940-566-6862.