Teacher accused of dating student adminstrator
Assigned to Berman for tenth-grade English, I took a seat one September morning alongside sixteen or seventeen other boys.
We waited in silence as he sat at his desk, chain-smoking Benson & Hedges cigarettes and watching us from behind dark glasses. Berman stood up, took a fresh stick of chalk, climbed onto his chair, and reached above the blackboard to draw a horizontal line on the paint.
Fowlkes, who has worked as a biology teacher at the school since October 2014, was booked into Caldwell County Jail on Monday, hours after celebrating her birthday with her husband.
Lockhart police had obtained an arrest warrant for Fowlkes who turned herself in.
'Their contact was of a sexual nature,' said police.
Police Chief Ernest Pedraza charged Fowlkes, with engaging in 'sexual contact with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of' the alleged victim, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Improper relationship between an educator and a student is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Detectives in Lockhart, which is about 30 miles from Austin, interviewed a 17-year-old student who admitted to having sexual contact with Fowlkes.
The teachers devoted their lives to us—they were with us from eight-forty in the morning until seven at night, drove us to school each day, took us on vacation trips.
“This,” he said, after a theatrical pause, “is Milton.” He let his hand fall a few inches, drew another line, and said, “This is Shakespeare.” Another line, lower, on the blackboard: “This is Mahler.” And, just below, “Here is Browning.” Then he took a long drag on his cigarette, dropped the chalk onto the floor, and, using the heel of his black leather loafer, ground it into the wooden floorboards.
“And this, gentlemen,” he said, “is you.”The next day, I asked to be transferred. By the end of the week, Berman’s class had shrunk by about half.
This was the ultimate invitation: personal attention from the master, who would go over a student’s writing line by line, inquire about problems with his parents, and perhaps tutor him privately in art history or Russian.
Like other teachers, Berman took students on long field trips, and one spring break he invited Fife to join him and ten other boys on a trip to Washington, to visit the National Gallery of Art.
My class, the Class of 1976, was the last to exclude girls, and, inside the ivy-covered stone and brick buildings, the social upheavals of the seventies were wearing away some of Horace Mann’s British-boarding-school trappings.