University of Oklahoma suspends student charged with molestation

The University of Oklahoma suspended student Christopher Ray Flores after the former Norman teacher's aide was charged with lewd molestation.
by Randy Ellis Modified: February 27, 2013 at 9:49 pm •  Published: February 28, 2013
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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.

Background checks

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.”


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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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