Lorena ISD issued a statement to the community last week explaining its silence regarding a sex abuse scandal that involved pre-K students.

A lawsuit filed last year by the family of a 5-year-old sex abuse victim accused the Lorena Primary School principal, April Jewell, of ignoring warnings from multiple staff members about inappropriate behavior on the part of former substitute teacher Nicolas Scot Crenshaw toward young female students.

“Trust is imperative between our board and the community we serve. The word ‘trustee’ itself is based on this foundation. Due to the Texas regulatory environment that governs school districts, the board is limited in what can be openly discussed outside of monthly public board meetings,” reads the June 18 email from the district’s board of trustees, per Texas Scorecard.

Lorena ISD asked parents to remain patient as the legal process plays out.

“We know you may be frustrated by these limitations, and we as a board share those frustrations. We ask that all LISD families join the board in remaining patient with the discovery and judicial process and not rush to judgment prior to all facts being presented,” the email reads.

Crenshaw was arrested in 2021 and pled guilty in 2023 to five counts of aggravated sexual assault of a young child, one count of continuous sexual abuse of a young child, and indecency with a child by contact. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Earlier this month, a federal judge rejected Jewell’s immunity claim based on a report from a magistrate judge, as covered by The Dallas Express.

The magistrate judge’s report condemned Jewell’s lack of executive action, stating that her failure to ensure the safety and well-being of her students “shocks the conscience.” The report further emphasized that the right of a student to be protected from physical sexual abuse by a teacher has long been established, and Jewell’s inaction constituted a violation of this right.

As covered extensively by The Dallas Express, the past year or so has seen a number of scandals involving public school teachers and staffers come to light, including some in Dallas ISD. Such accusations of misconduct have led to calls for more transparency in state authorities’ handling of such reports and improved background check procedures during the hiring process.