WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A Wichita Falls Independent School District music teacher is put on administrative leave after allegations surfaced online.
“Not until this was made public on social media did we realize and everything clicked into place,” a parent of a child alleging abuse said.
On Thursday, allegations began to surface on social media about alleged abuse by WFISD teacher Mel Martinez. The post alleged Martinez would hit students with a pointer on their arms, put the laser from it in their eyes, kick their legs when they are supposed to be criss-cross-applesauce, and pull kids’ pants down to spank them.
“She literally said I hate criss-cross applesauce and I said ‘why, why do you hate criss-cross that because we did it before the last two school years why is it all of a sudden a problem?’ she didn’t say anything for a while,” the parent said. “After dinner, she came back and said it’s because she just goes around kicking.”
After that, this parent started noticing strange behavior from their child.
“We started to notice that we had increased on a specific day of the week where she would have P.E. and music which would be coach Mel all day,” the parent said. “I thought that it was because she hated P.E. She started gouging herself with her own hands.”
The WFISD confirmed Martinez is on administrative leave while the allegations are being investigated. However, they could not say what those allegations are except to say they are not for sexual assault which was an allegation that was circulating.
The parent says they believe the WFISD isn’t pushing these allegations aside and is taking them seriously.
“They are not trying to turn you away,” the parent said. “They are, I’m sure, overwhelmed because we’ve attempted multiple times to call, we attempted Friday in person and was basically bum-rushed by other families.”
They also say all parents should listen to their children when they bring up allegations like this.
“Never assume they are making it bigger than what it is,” the parent said. “I never thought I’d be that parent, but just stop and listen. If they are willing to tell you, you are their safe person for them to talk to. They’re comfortable enough to come to you so just listen.”
Morning Anchor Jaron Spor spoke to Mel Martinez Monday morning but was told the teacher cannot comment about these allegations at this time.