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KIPP counselor accused of molesting student under guise of lice checks

October 20, 2017 GMT

A former KIPP counselor under investigation for child indecency has been accused of molesting an 8-year-old student in his office under the guise of checking her for lice.

Brandon McElveen, 33, was charged Monday with indecency with a child. He was still at large Thursday, according to court records.

McElveen had until recently been a guidance counselor at KIPP’s Explore Academy, a southeast Houston elementary campus of the charter school network. He was praised recently by KIPP Foundation co-founder Mike Feinberg as a “teacher/counselor/coach/all-around amazing human being” in a LinkedIn post that described his rescue efforts during Hurricane Harvey.

KIPP did not respond Thursday to repeated requests for comment.

Charging documents released this week detailed the suspected abuse. Authorities believe McElveen - known to the girl he is accused of molesting as “Mr. Mack”- repeatedly pulled the second-grade student out of class, according to sworn statements from investigators.

The girl’s second-grade teacher told authorities McElveen took the child out of class five times for lice checks. Her technology and art teachers said McElveen removed the girl from their classes without telling them why. Her technology teacher added when she was taken out of class, it was for “a long while,” according to court documents.

McElveen is accused of bringing the girl to his office and molesting her.

He told her he had to check her for bites and lice, and according to court documents, also forced her to touch him. The child said the most recent incident was Sept. 26.

McElveen was put on administrative leave after the allegations surfaced. On Monday, KIPP announced in a letter to parents that McElveen had been fired.

KIPP added in the letter the charter school network conducts rigorous background checks for all new employees through an FBI data base.

“Although we believe that our current policies meet the highest standards, we conduct regular review of these practices to promote student safety in our schools,” Sehba Ali, superintendent of KIPP Houston, wrote in the letter.

McElveen does not have a criminal record in Harris County.