DPD Arrests Ex-Arts Magnet Teacher for Improper Relationship With Student

The Dallas Police Department just sent word: Yesterday, a DPD detective arrested 36-year-old Michael D'Spain on a warrant for an improper relationship with a student. D'Spain was arrested at Farine Elementary School in Irving, where, according to his Linkedin profile, he's been teaching since August. But DPD says the arrest stems from his brief tenure at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where he was a music instructor last year. Says D'Spain's profile, he was responsible for its productions of Always Imagine, which used John Lennon's piano on loan from the Goss-Michael Foundation, and The Wiz.

According to the DPD release:

The improper relationship began about February 2010 at the school and continued through about May. An outcry was made later by the student to family and a report was made by the student's family to CPS. A Crimes Against Persons detective was brought into the investigation and he filed the charge and made the arrest.
D'Spain's bond has been set at $100,000, and DPD says "there are no other investigations pending with the Dallas Police Department regarding Mr. D'Spain." That's all the info DPD will provide at present. Messages have been left with the Dallas Independent School District.

Update at 12:09 p.m.: Jon Dahlander, DISD spokesman, sends the following statement from the district concerning D'Spain's arrest:

The safety of our students is our top priority and the district has implemented numerous safeguards including conducting criminal background checks on all employees. Understandably, we are as disappointed as anyone about this arrest of a former teacher.

The principal at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts initially learned of allegations involving this teacher from the student's parent at the end of last school year. The proper authorities were immediately notified so that an investigation could begin. Within hours, the teacher resigned. The district's Human Resources department properly notified the State Board of Educator Certification that the teacher was under investigation.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky