Students Speak Out for Arrested Permian Teacher

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Their high school math teacher - arrested for having a relationship with an 18-year-old student. On Thursday night, Permian teacher, Robert Young is out of jail after posting a $20,000 bond. While the girl is legally an adult, the school district says it's illegal to be romantically involved with a student. NewsWest 9 wanted to learn more about this teacher and caught up with a couple of former students.

"I thought it wasn't true," Former Student, Brent Unruh, said. "I was shocked."

"I was surprised," Former Student, Aaron Long, said. "I didn't believe it. He doesn't seem like the type of guy that would do something like that."
When the news broke Wednesday that their teacher was charged with second degree felony, Aaron and Brent say they just couldn't believe it. They're part of the 2010 graduating class at Permian - taught by Robert Young for most of their math classes.

"I thought he was the best teacher I had there," Long said. "I respected him and he was just there to help you."
The students NewsWest 9 spoke with say Mr. Young is a vital part of the math department at Permian. Since 1992, he has taught several different types of classes for sophomores, juniors, and seniors and also lead the math team.

"I was always decent at math, but then I went to Permian and my math skills shot up and he got me to join the math team which really helped," Unruh said. "He made math make sense."

"I still respect him," Long said. "I don't know if it's true or not. I still respect him as a teacher and mentor."
ECISD officials say they received an anonymous tip earlier this month and put Young on leave before he was arrested this week. School officials say this relationship with an 18-year-old student is his first offense and it came as a surprise to them too.

"My views of him haven't changed at all," Unruh said. "I respect him just as much as I respected him during school, I will always respect him and I don't think this should be happening to him at all."

Local and state laws both specify it's illegal to have a relationship with a student even if they are 18. As of right now, Young is still employed with ECISD. School officials say he'll be on paid leave until after the investigation is completed.