The University of Oklahoma suspended student Christopher Ray Flores after Flores, a former Norman teacher's aide, was accused of molesting a male relative.
OU also “issued a trespass order barring Mr. Flores from university grounds,” said Catherine Bishop, OU's vice president for public affairs.
As part of Flores' participation in OU's teacher education program, he took part in a pre-teaching practicum that involved observing instruction in a classroom at Moore's Heritage Trails Elementary School, officials said.
Flores was removed from that program when OU suspended him, said Robert Romines, Moore's assistant superintendent for personnel.
Romines said school officials have no indication any Heritage Trails students were mistreated. He said school officials contacted parents of students in the classroom Flores observed and also notified Moore police.
Charges are filed
Flores was charged Feb. 13 with lewd molestation after a relative complained Flores had molested her 9-year-old son. Flores, 30, of Norman, admitted touching the boy improperly three times, a Norman police detective reported.
Flores worked as a teacher's aide in a classroom for children with special needs at Norman Public Schools from 2001 until the spring of 2010, when he resigned. He was not an OU student during that time.
Following his arrest, some parents accused Norman police and school officials of failing to respond properly to earlier complaints of violent and inappropriate conduct by Flores. Parents said they made the complaints over a span of more than a decade.
Flores' father is a Norman policeman, the parents said.
Many of the parents' complaints were discussed in three federal lawsuits filed against the Norman School District before Flores' arrest and in one state suit filed afterward.
Flores was accused of slamming an elementary student's head through a glass door and tying students down and putting socks in their mouths in one of the federal lawsuits. Lawsuits also contained allegations that Flores and/or the primary teacher in the classroom had used improper strangleholds on children and punished children by placing them in a dark isolation room.
The Norman School District reached confidential settlements in all three federal lawsuits. The state case is pending.
Parents said a complaint was lodged with Norman school officials in 2001 or 2002, alleging Flores took a student home with him during the school day.
Shelly Hickman, spokeswoman for Norman Public Schools, said privacy laws severely limit what school officials can say about complaints they have received and how they responded. She said school officials could release more information with signed releases from parents and former students, but so far The Oklahoman has been unable to obtain such releases.
Bishop said OU takes steps to screen students in its teaching program.
“When students enter the OU teacher education program, they must attest that they have no convictions of any kind related to minors,” Bishop said. “Mr. Flores signed such an agreement. In addition, all OU students in this program must agree to any background check conducted by school districts for any school district in which the student participates.”