HOUSTON — A middle school teacher in Texas has been charged with having an improper relationship with a student after she performed a full-on lap dance on the teen in front of the class.
The incident occurred at Stovall Middle School in Houston on February 26th–the unidentified 15-year-old student’s birthday. Police state that teacher Felicia Smith, 42, told them that she did the dance at the urging of other students.
According to reports, at the beginning of the class, Smith put a chair in front of the room as music began to play and students began cheering for the boy to sit in it. As he sat in the chair, Smith proceeded to rub her hands all over the teen’s body and grind her buttocks on him, and, at one point while on her knees, she placed her head between his legs. The teen admits to slapping the teacher’s bottom as she performed the dance on him.
The incident went on for nearly four minutes, presumably the length of the song that was playing, while the class watched. At the end of the dance, Smith hugged the teen, stating, “I love you, baby. Happy birthday.”
While it is unknown as to whom videotaped the incident, the Houston District Attorney’s Office and the Aldine Police Department both have copies of the footage.
Smith was formally charged in the matter on Thursday and appeared before a judge on Friday. She is out on $30,000 bail.
The Aldine Independent School District also released a statement in the matter this week, advising that the “charge was filed by Aldine Independent School District Police, who investigated the case along with the campus administration.”
“The teacher was removed from the campus during the investigation and has not returned,” said spokesperson Jason Spencer. “The district takes this allegation seriously and is fully cooperating with prosecutors. The safety and security of our students will continue to be a top priority in Aldine ISD.”
Public reaction to the matter has been mixed.
“She was being self-effacing and playful. Anyone with any sense of nuance, humanity and humor would get it,” commenter Inge Berge wrote. “All this shows is that she has great rapport with her students and can participate in some humor with them. But of course, in America, school is supposed to be more like jail. No personal connection nor levity allowed.”
“That’s way too much ‘personal connection’ and not how are teachers should be acting or teaching students,” Fred Berner Jr. replied. “Anybody who doesn’t see the problem here needs to check themselves.”
“Disgraceful, disgusting, criminal,” wrote Sandral Miller-Louden. “And yes, I am judging her, because she’s nothing more than a child molester.”
“[S]tuff like this is why I was homeschooled,” said James McKissick.
Smith is on paid leave and is not speaking to the media about the matter.