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Houston-area mom put son in trunk because he had COVID-19, court documents say

Sarah Beam, a CFISD teacher, told an employee at a COVID-19 testing site that her son was in the trunk because she didn't want to get sick, court records said.

HOUSTON — A warrant has been issued for a Houston-area mom accused of putting her son in the trunk of her car after he tested positive for COVID-19. The woman was in line to get a COVID test, authorities said.

Sarah Beam, a teacher at Cypress Falls High School in the Cy-Fair Independent School District, has been charged with endangering a child.

According to court documents, Beam took the 13-year-old boy to a drive-thru COVID testing site at Pridgeon Stadium on Monday, January 3, for additional testing. 

A CFISD employee who was gathering information from people in line said Beam told her the boy was in the trunk because she didn't want to be exposed to the virus.

The employee asked the woman to open the trunk, and she confirmed the boy was there, according to court documents.

She alerted Cy-Fair ISD police and provided the woman's license plate number and other information used to identify her. 

“I have never heard of somebody being put in a trunk because they tested positive for anything," said Sgt. Richard Standifer with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The boy wasn't hurt but Standifer said he could have been if there'd been an accident since he wasn't protected by a seat belt, as required by law.

“In the event that the vehicle is in a crash, there’s no way to really secure a person in a trunk."

Standifer says the front and back of any vehicle can be a dangerous place to be in the event of a crash.

"Most of your vehicles are constructed with crumple zones in the front and rear of the vehicle, so if the individual’s in the rear of the vehicle and they’re involved in a crash, they’re probably at greater risk of being injured because they’re designed to absorb energy in the front and the rear," Standifer explained.

Cy-Fair ISD confirmed that Beam has worked for the district since 2011 and is currently a teacher at Cy-Falls. She has been placed on administrative leave.

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