A Pasadena ISD high school teacher is accused of having an improper relationship with a student.
According to court documents, Paul Edward Tate, a teacher at Pasadena Memorial High School, allegedly started a romantic relationship with a 16-year-old girl in October 2013.
Tate, a history teacher, is charged with indecency with a child and having an improper relationship with a student.
Pasadena ISD police said Tate, 36, and the teenage girl exchanged numerous phone calls and text messages indicating the two had sex. Police also said they discovered photos showing the teacher and student kissing.
The allegations came to light after a former student at Pasadena Memorial High School spotted Tate and the teen having dinner at an Olive Garden restaurant on December 16, according to court records. According to the complaint, the former student thought the two may have been on a date because Tate and the teen girl were seen feeding each other and later walking arm in arm in the parking lot. The witness sent photos of the alleged date to the school’s assistant principal.
The assistant principal, according to court documents, had previously warned Tate about inappropriate teacher-student relationships after she saw the girl getting out of Tate's car at a fast food restaurant on October 7.
When asked why the assistant principal did not report what she saw to authorities, Pasadena ISD spokesperson and associate superintendent Renea Ivy said, "The assistant principal responded appropriately to the behavior she witnessed. There was no reason at that time to read anything more into the behavior."
Court records show the assistant principal also told police he had witnessed Tate buying a $200 Pandora bracelet while on a school trip October 26. District officials said only a handful of staff, and no students were on that school trip. When asked about the purchase at the time, Tate told the assistant principal the bracelet was a gift for his mother.
But Harris County prosecutors said when the teen was questioned by police about the relationship, she was wearing a Pandora bracelet and admitted it was a gift from Tate. The girl told police Tate had also bought her clothing and a purse. She said the two were involved in a romantic relationship but denied there was any sexual contact.
A spokesperson for Pasadena ISD said the teen girl was a student in Tate's history class last school year.
Tate has been employed by the district since 2009 and has been on paid administrative leave since December 17.
Tate is expected to turn him self in sometime this weekend.