Vernon educator under investigation, on paid leave

Local News

VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) — A Vernon educator, previously charged with failing to report an alleged sexual assault that reportedly happened on her campus, is on paid administrative leave pending an ongoing investigation.

Vernon ISD Superintendent Jeff Byrd said Cindy Underwood has been on leave for two weeks. Byrd said he couldn’t comment on the content of the investigation or whether local law enforcement were assisting with the investigation. Captain Wayne Hodges with the Vernon Police Department said they do not have an investigation regarding Underwood.

Underwood is principal at Central Elementary and this is her first year with the Vernon ISD.

Underwood previously worked as principal of Haynes Northwest Academy within the Wichita Falls ISD. In 2018, she was charged with failing to report alleged sexual acts involving first graders, but she was cleared of all charges three months later.

The affidavit alleged that in October 2017 a teacher told Underwood she had found photographs on an iPad assigned to one of the students of three six-year-old male students engaging in sexual acts in the classroom.

Under Texas law, a professional with responsibility to report possible abuse or neglect must report it within 48 hours and may not delegate it to another person.

The mug shot attached to this story is from Underwood’s previous arrest.

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