AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Allison Elementary School student reported being touched inappropriately by a school parent last Friday, Oct. 14.
In a letter to Allison Elementary families, dated Wednesday, Principal Lupe Velasquez said AISD police launched an immediate investigation. Austin Independent School District police issued an arrest warrant for the parent on a charge of indecency with a child.
According to the warrant, Florencio Felix Barron, 40, touched a 10-year-old girl on her breast/chest area as she was walking in the front hallway of the school at around 7:10 a.m. A school surveillance camera captured the incident. The girl told police the man smiled and laughed at her, after the fact.
The affidavit continues, explicitly stating the man reached out and “gripped” her on her chest with his hand. The student said this made her feel uncomfortable and that she did not know the man who touched her.
“We want to commend our student for reporting the incident, and we want to encourage all students to report to a trusted adult, campus leadership or police any time they feel unsafe, threatened or concerned,” Principal Velasquez said in the letter.
Some school parents told KXAN they are shocked by the incident, and believe more should be done to protect their children while they’re at school.
“As a concerned parent, that should have never happened,” said Richard Vera, the father of a fifth-grade student at Allison Elementary. Vera says the school should add more law enforcement officers on campus to patrol the kids in and around the area of the school.
Vera’s wife told KXAN that for her, this incident puts things into perspective.
“People, pedophiles, whatever, will go out of their way to do whatever they have to do,” she said. “I’m going to be extra cautious, very extra cautious… making sure that somebody’s here to pick her up, somebody’s here to drop her off, making sure she gets in. We don’t know who to trust. We don’t know who’s walking on campus.”
Parents were also concerned that they were not notified about the incident immediately after it happened last week.
“In a situation like this, which is serious, more serious, they should not have taken that long to do something or to communicate that something like this had happened,” said Caroline Sanchez, the mother of a third-grade student at Allison.
KXAN News reached out to Austin Independent School District officials about security measures at all district schools. We were told that all school visitors, including parents, must check in at the front office of every school building before being admitted inside. AISD officials said office faculty members take some form of identification from the visitor and run it through their system.
If someone shows up in their system as a registered sex offender, district policy dictates that the person is not allowed inside the school. However, someone with a criminal history who is not a registered sex offender may still be permitted on campus grounds and inside the building.
KXAN checked Barron’s criminal background. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, DPS, Barron has been convicted of minor offenses. Among those, in 2003, he was convicted of indecent exposure, a misdemeanor. Although, he was not listed as a registered sex offender.
Allison Elementary is located in southeast Austin near Montopolis Drive and U.S. 183.
At last report Thursday, Barron remained in Travis Co. Jail on indecency with a child–sexual contact charges. The county jail’s website indicates that an immigration and naturalization service detainer has been placed on the suspect. Barron’s bond amount is listed as $25,500.