Scandal Rocks McCamey ISD

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

MCCAMEY-The teacher accused of an improper relationship with a student turned herself in to the Upton County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday evening. Vanessa Zuniga, 32, sits behind bars days after she resigned from McCamey ISD.

"All you can do is apologize," Superintendent Donny Wylie, said.  "The community of McCamey is a very good place, it's a great place to live. We've got great schools. Sure any time this kind of situation happens, in any school district, you must over come it."

School officials aren't releasing the students age, but state officials say it doesn't matter.

"Texas has a law that is outlined in the penal code, even if it's consensual and even if the student is of legal," Suzanne Marchman, a spokesperson for the TEA says it is still a second degree felony punishable by up to 20 years behind bars and up to a $10,000 dollar fine.

Marchman also said they have a thousand open investigations this fiscal year, and more than half involve serious charges like improper relationships between an educator and student.

"All school districts in the State of Texas, there are some things that happen that aren't good, but you've got to move on and look at your good things," Wylie said.

Wylie says since the law changed in 2007 to include all students regardless of their age in the improper relationship between an educator and student more cases have started to come out. He says more people are also more aware of the problem.

Marchman says modern technology also makes proving a case easier. Text messages, E-Mails, and cell phone records are all evidence investigators didn't use ten years ago.