Texas mom, a teacher, throws her own COVID-positive son in car trunk to drive to testing

A Houston-area teacher was arrested on Saturday and charged with a felony count of endangering a child after locking her 13-year-old son in the trunk of her car to take him to a coronavirus test, according to Harris County court records.

Sarah Beam, a 41-year-old English teacher at Cypress Falls High School, “did unlawfully, recklessly engage in conduct” that put her son, “in imminent danger of bodily injury,” by placing him “inside the truck of a moving vehicle without any proper seating and/or safety restraints,” according to the Harris County prosecutor in his statement to the court. The defendant told a district official that she put her son, who had recently tested positive for COVID-19, in the trunk to prevent her from getting exposed while taking him for additional testing.

The incident occurred on January 3, 2022, at a COVID testing site at Pridgeon Stadium in Houston. Witnesses apparently became suspicious after hearing noises coming from the trunk of her car in the testing line and alerted the school district’s director of health services, Bevin Gordon. who was working the drive-thru. Beam acknowledged to the director that her son was in the trunk due to his having been tested positive for the coronavirus; Beam “had to unlatch the trunk of the vehicle” in order to show Gordon where he was.

Director Gordon informed her that no testing would be done until he was moved to the back seat of the car and proceeded to alert the police about the situation. Surveillance video from nearby Campbell Middle School confirmed that the boy exited the trunk of the car and entered the backseat on the passenger side. The child appeared to be unharmed.

Interestingly, Sarah Beam has a history of being a popular teacher in her school; a 2017 Facebook post celebrates her being named a Cypress Falls Spotlight Teacher, stating that, “She is one amazing lady who sees the best in every one of her students.”

In a statement released that same year, Cypress Falls High School principal Becky Denton wrote that “Sarah Beam is a master at building relationships. She is engaging, energetic, positive and works tirelessly to ensure that students have what they need to be successful both in English and in life. Sarah’s genuine kindness paves the way to allow students – even those who struggle the most – to have confidence in their ability to succeed.”

This popular teacher apparently succumbed to the fear-mongering that has plagued the national dialogue for the last two years and exhibited an egregious lack of good judgment on January 3rd; an official from the Texas Department of Public Safety marveled at the recklessness of her actions: “In the event that the vehicle is in a crash, there’s no way to really secure a person in a trunk. Most of your vehicles are constructed with crumple zones in the front and rear of the vehicle, so if the individuals in the rear of the vehicle and they’re involved in a crash, they’re probably at greater risk of being injured because they’re designed to absorb energy in the front and the rear.”

According to court documents, Beam has been released on a $1500 bond; according to Texas State Law, she faces a potential sentence of 180 days to 2 years in jail and fines of up to $10,000 if convicted. She is currently on administrative leave from her school district and has several court-ordered conditions she must follow: no possession of firearms or ammo, no drugs or alcohol, random urinalysis, electronic monitoring, no communication with her son in a “threatening or harassing manner,” and a mandatory mental health evaluation.

Twitter users reacted accordingly:

 

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