CONROE, Texas—As students from Moorhead Junior High in Conroe prepared Friday for a long Labor Day weekend, parents were shaking their heads after learning that a teacher was arrested for child pornography.
Social Studies teacher Thomas Vickers, 42, was arrested Thursday for promotion of child pornography and two counts of enticing a child with intent to commit a felony.
Channel 39 News spent Friday afternoon speaking with parents at Conroe Independent School District. They were shocked to hear about the charges against Vickers, who has worked with the school district since 1995.
"It disturbs me a bunch and concerns me," Brad Ivers said before picking up his child from school. "Anything like that scares me when it comes to my child. I don't need people like that even near my child."
CISD placed Vickers on administrative leave pending a district investigation into his arrest.
Justin Sarver, an eighth grader at Moorhead Junior High, described Vickers as "a pretty cool teacher."
"He kind of seemed like he was in the [military] service," Justin said as he sat in the back of his mom's car after school. "He was pretty strict, but I liked him ... Everyone was happy whenever he was gone today, but I wasn''t really."
Justin's mother, Sherrie Sarver, said she did not know Vickers, but she knew her son was in his class.
"Of course when I got the e-mail [alert from CISD], I made my calls," she said. "If something were to happen to my child, he wouldn't be in jail. He'd be underground. So, I hope that these things are not true."
The man Justin described as just a "regular teacher" was caught in an Internet sting. According to officials, he engaged in an inappropriate online chat with an investigator from Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office posing as a 14-year-old girl.
Vickers is accused of displaying inappropriate images of himself and soliciting an underage female for sex, police said. According to reports, Vickers also showed vulgar images of young girls online.
"It makes me kind of feel really worried because that's my children," said Mandy Jones, who has two sons. "My children go to these schools."
CISD said they have no reason to believe Vickers' arrest or the allegations against him involve students in Conroe schools.
"Every parent around here should be concerned about this," Ivers said.
Vickers was being held Friday at Harris County jail on $150,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.