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Cypress Springs teacher to be sentenced for sex with 15-year-old student

August 21, 2018

A Cypress Springs High School teacher faces the possibility of 20 years in prison for having sex and smoking marijuana with a 15-year-old student when she goes before a Houston judge Tuesday.

Michelle Schiffer, 24, pleaded guilty in May to one charge of improper relationship with a student and is scheduled to be sentenced by state District Judge Robert Johnson.

“We are hoping for a fair outcome, taking into account that Michelle has a clean criminal record and is very remorseful about what she’s done,” said her attorney Grant Scheiner.

Cases of teachers being arrested for improper relationships appear to be on the rise in Houston and across the state, according to recent media reports.

In April 2017, the Texas Education Agency had opened at least 150 investigations into possible teacher-student sex across the state during the 2016-2017 school year, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

The Austin-American Statesman reported that from January 2010 through December 2016, the TEA recorded 686 teachers in Texas permanently losing their teaching licenses following allegations of impropriety with a student.

Scheiner said the former teacher plans to publicly apologize to the complaining student and his family, as well as everyone affected.

Schiffer, who taught world history, admitted to meeting with a former student for sex at least twice during the summer of 2017, according to court records.

The teacher and student first met up at a Chick-Fil-A in Cypress, then went to a friend’s apartment to have sex, court records show.

During their second encounter, Schiffer picked up the student in a park and drove around smoking marijuana. She pulled over on a neighborhood street and the two had sex.

Another student made an anonymous complaint about the relationship to school officials in November. Schiffer and the student both admitted to the allegations after police interviewed both.

Following the criminal complaint, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD removed Schiffer from campus and placed her on administrative leave.

Schiffer’s case is similar to 24-year-old Alexandria Vera, a former Aldine ISD middle school teacher. Vera was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to a first-degree felony for having a long-term sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student. During that relationship, she got pregnant and had an abortion.

In that case, Vera admitted to the relationship in exchange for a sentence decided by the judge with cap of 30 years in prison. Her attorney had argued for probation in the notorious case.

In a separate Houston case, a former counselor at a KIPP school faces three charges of indecency with three different girls that came to light last year.

Brandon McElveen, 34, was charged with three counts of indecency with a child, and investigators have said they believe there may be more victims at the KIPP Explorer Academy on Lawndale. The former counselor was initially arrested in October following accusations that he’d molested an 8-year-old girl under the guise of checking her for lice, according to court documents.

After those alleged misdeeds came to light when KIPP Houston Public Schools released a statement announcing his termination in light of a pending investigation, two other victims came forward.

Those additional students told authorities of a pattern of abuse, and one said it went on once or twice a week from the time she was in kindergarten to fourth grade.

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