Parents want answers after teacher arrested at Murphy school

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 7:34 AM

MURPHY — For the second time in two years, a teacher at the same Plano ISD school is facing sexual abuse charges involving a student.

Now, parents at Martha Hunt Elementary School want answers. They're questioning what a former principal knew.

Todd Allen Reich, a physical education teacher, was arrested at the school on Tuesday. He's charged with indecency with a child by sexual contact.

Court documents show the former principal warned Reich to stay away from the alleged victim, but he ignored that warning.

Reich, 38, is a popular physical education teacher at Hunt Elementary. Court documents show Reich started the inappropriate contact by rubbing the kindergartner's back.

The arrest warrant affidavit says Reich would take the child into the coach's office and shut the door, making her feel uncomfortable.

"He used his hand to touch the victim's breasts in his office and in the classroom when no one was around," the affidavit said, adding that Reich "made the victim touch his private area over his clothing on more than one occasion."

Hunt Elementary parents expressed surprise and anger.

"I think it's a real shame," said Natasha Vause. "It makes me feel sad that there are students here that are not 100 percent safe in the school."

The victim told investigators that the former principal warned Reich not to have contact with her, and if contact was required to have another person with him.

But the charges claim it didn't stop there, and parents want to know why.

Last year, another teacher at Hunt, Joseph Garbarini, was sentenced to 62 years in prison for sexually abusing children at the school. The horrifying accusations involved diapers, bottles and cages.

Parents of three students filed a lawsuit against then-principal Linda Engelking, who has since retired. They claim she ignored warnings about a sexual predator, even though parents and teachers had unsettling suspicions about Garbarini.

Now, parents are questioning Engelking's actions with the latest teacher who is facing charges.

Plano ISD administrators say they are still gathering details and don't have any answers yet.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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