It would appear that Robert Lange, a social studies teacher at Williams High School in Plano, is well-liked by his students; one writes that he was "was the coolest teacher I have ever had." And not so long ago he was awarded cash money for having been named a finalist for the H.E.B. Excellence in Education Award. But at the moment, Lange, who's had a Texas teacher certificate since '79, isn't allowed to teach any longer: His credentials were revoked by the State Board for Educator Certification on April 8 following the August 2010 recommendation of an administrative law judge. The reason: Lange had sex with a student during winter break '07-'08.
But that is not the whole story, according to a legal doc posted on Courthouse News -- far from. Lange is taking on the state board in Travis County District Court, hoping to get his credentials back, because, he says, first off, the student was 18 when the consensual encounters took place with the student identified only as "CS." And he wasn't her teacher -- matter of fact, she wasn't even a Plano ISD student, but a senior in the Mesquite Independent School District. That's a whole 'nother county. And one in which Lange's never been a teacher. From the complaint:
The sexual encounters did not occur on school property. They occurred in a martial arts studio on private property. The sexual encounters did not occur during school time. They occurred in late December and early January when school was not in session. The sexual encounters did not occur directly or indirectly within the context of any school activity. CS received no extra credit for her participation in the martial arts program. At the time of the sexual encounters in question, CS was an adult, 18 years of age, acting on her own volition, admittedly instigating the two sexual encounters.
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Lange wants another hearing. And he wants his job back.