Former substitute teacher arrested for rape
TULSA (FOX 23) - Just one week away from the start of school and a substitute teacher in Sand Springs has been arrested after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.
"We are talking about a kid and it's never appropriate to have inappropriate contact with children and it's not acceptable,” said Sand Springs School Public Schools Superintendent Lloyd Snow, Ph.D.
The arrest report indicates Steven M. Beard, 37, eventually admitted to having sex with a 14-year-old student multiple times since July 22nd of this year.
Beard was the girl’s substitute teacher a Clyde Boyd Middle School in Sand Springs.
Police are applauding the girl’s mother who didn’t hesitate letting officers know about explicit text messages she found on her daughter’s phone.
Reports show he was known as Mr. Beard but one student called him WonderMan.
"It's tragic. It breaks my heart,” said Snow.
Police said Beard, who was a full-time Sand Springs teacher at the 9th Grade Center for several years admitted to having sex with the 14-year-old several times.
Reports show, “Beard stated he had in fact had sexual intercourse with the victim approximately ten to twelve times between July 22, 2012 and August 09, 2012.”
"That is something I take extremely personal and that is protecting our children and when one of my children is not, it stresses me, disappoints me and angers me,” said Snow.
Reports show at first Beard denied the relationship, he also denied giving the 14-year-old a ring but admitted to oral sex.
Eventually he admitted what the girl told her mother.
The arrest affidavit states he would secretly pick her up so her parents wouldn’t find out.
"The suspect felt he couldn't approach the parents and the parents would be understanding,” said Sand Springs Assistant Chief, Mike Carter.
It was the girl’s mother who went straight to police after finding dirty text messages between her daughter and WonderMan on her daughter’s cell phone.
In one conversation both were exchanging explicit text messages with each other.
Police have not been able to confirm but the girl told her mother she thought she was pregnant.
"If this parent wouldn't have been caring or on the ball where she was this person could have gone on to do other things,” said Carter.
A substitute teacher in Green Country told FOX23 News, she is disappointed to keep hearing these kinds of stories.
"Really, I don't how many people intend on doing that with a student but I guess just getting too comfortable and letting it go that far," said Sara Brown. "Take precautions. Act on the side of caution no matter what you are doing."
This is the second incident this year at Sand Springs schools.
In March, former Charles Page High School teacher, Erin Queen, 27, was accused of having sex with a seventeen-year-old male student in a hotel room.
"Two in the last few months, is awfully horrible," said Snow. "It alarms me, it troubles me."
Superintendent Snow said last week he talked with site leaders and today he spoke with custodians about behavior with students.
In May, FOX23 News reported an in-depth story on inappropriate relationships between students and teachers and spoke with Snow on the issue.
The District does not have a social media or exchanging phone number policy but Snow said inappropriate contact using those mediums could be cause for termination.
Child abuse experts recommend you keep a watchful eye on your child. They recommend you ask questions if your child is drawn to their teacher, frequently talks about them and/or spends more time with them.
Snow said Sand Springs was Beard’s first teaching job. He was a teacher with Sand Springs Public Schools from 1999 and 2006.
Snow said Beard left to pursue other things and came back last school year to substitute and passed another background check.
Beard faces Second-Degree Rape involving a minor, lewd molestation involving a minor and lewd proposal to a minor. He is being held on $100,000 bond.