Text Messages Land Reagan County Coach in Hot Water

by Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

BIG LAKE- Reagan County Independent School District officials called the relationship between a sixteen year old softball player and Coach January Blackwell inappropriate.

After an internal investigation uncovered text messages between the softball player and coach, Superintendent Marshall Harrison says Blackwell resigned. He says it was Blackwell's second year with the district.

Superintendent Harrison says they received a tip from a concerned citizen last week about the relationship. The district contacted the players mother and asked permission to search the girls purse and car.

Officials found a cell phone with text messages from Blackwell. RCISD's legal counsel deemed the text messages inappropriate.  The district then held a meeting between the parents and the coach.

The district forwarded all the evidence to the State Board for Educator Certification and the Texas Education Agency and the local Sheriff's department.

Superintendent Harrison says protecting the students is the District's top priority. They held a four hour training seminar this school year to help teachers identify proper student/teacher relationships.

Harrison says this kind of behavior is not tolerated. The District does not allow teachers to communicate with students via text messaging or through other sites like myspace.