A Texas school bus driver is just the latest in a string of female school employees in Texas to be charged with having sexual contact with a student.
Diana Almanza, a 47-year-old bus driver, has been charged with sexual assault of a child, reported KPRC.com
Almanza worked for Pearland Independent School District. School officials said an employee reported seeing her leaving the bus barn at 5:30 a.m. which was before her scheduled departure.
Officials said they discovered a 14-year-old male student was on the bus. She is accused of having improper sexual activity with the student. Officials said Almanza has also been terminated from her job for violations of school district policy, misconduct with a student and unauthorized use of a bus.
When a female teacher or other school employee is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor, it inevitably leads to more publicity than cases in which the defendant is male.
There have also been a considerable number of high profile cases of charges being brought against female teachers in Texas and elsewhere.
Earlier this year Brittni Colleps, a 27-year-old English teacher at Kennedale High School in Arlington, Texas, was found guilty of 16 counts of having improper relationships with students. She is serving a five year jail term.
The five students she had sex with were all older than the minimum age of consent in Texas which is 18. However, in Texas state law prohibits any educator in a secondary or a primary school from having sex with any enrolled student, irrespective of their age.
During the trial some of the students said they did not consider themselves to be victims.
In an ABC interview Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Beach, who prosecuted Colleps’ case, defended the law.
“Who has more power in the classroom?” ABC reported. “Does the teacher have more power or does the student have more power? The teacher has more power. And so the teacher can use that power to sexually exploit students in the classroom, even if those students are 18 years old.”
This is nevertheless, a controversial law given its inconsistency with the legal age of consent.
In case where an education or another school employee is accused of a sexual offense with a student there’s always a danger of a trial by media, especially if that employee is a woman. It’s important to hire effective legal defense, particularly when a case is based on the testimony of minors which can be unreliable.