By Kelly Young

countybeat@jacksonvilleprogress.com

RUSK – A Rusk High School teacher was arrested Wednesday for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with one of his female students.

Bryan Basse, 34, turned himself in at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday and was charged with indecency with a child and having an improper relationship between an educator and a student – both of which are second-degree felonies. The possible penalty range for each of the two charges is from two to 20 years in prison.

According to Rusk Assistant Police Chief Roy Cavazoz, the unidentified female student and Basse began the relationship within the last six months. Cavazoz also explained that because of the girl’s age, the relationship cannot be considered consensual.

Rusk Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Jim Largent began investigating the situation last week after receiving a tip.

“I began an internal investigation with the help of the high school principal, the assistant principal and the high school counselors,” Largent said. “We received information that was consistent with several sources, so we turned the investigation over to the Rusk police.”

Basse taught world geography at Rusk High School since 2000, and his wife Melissa also works at the school as a speech teacher. Basse resigned his teaching position after being taken into custody.

“Of course our number one priority in this type of situation is the safety and protection of our kids, and we will do anything that the student may need to help her,” Largent said.

Basse’s bond was set at $10,000 for each charge. Basse has currently been released on bond.

According to Largent, the school district is required by law, in situations where a teacher is accused of an inappropriate relationship with a student, to notify the Texas Education Agency and the state certification board about the incident. These agencies will review the incident and determine the status of Basse’s teaching certification, Largent said.

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