Warrant: Former Lubbock-Cooper elementary teacher took lewd phot

Warrant: Former Lubbock-Cooper elementary teacher took lewd photos of children under desks

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Lubbock Police and Texas Anti-Gang Center agents arrested a former Lubbock-Cooper teacher Thursday, claiming he took lewd pictures of female students under a "work table" at the North Elementary campus. When confronted by deputies during a search warrant, court records indicate the educator said he took about a dozen inappropriate photographs on accident, saying he didn't know how his phone worked. 

Cody Taylor, 36, turned himself into investigators Thursday, after an arrest warrant was issued Monday. Anti-gang investigators, coordinating with Homeland Security agents, began investigating students' claims of Taylor's inappropriate behavior in late February. Court records indicate DHS agents contacted the anti-gang unit after the North Elementary principal and other teachers reported ten students' claims.

According to Taylor's arrest warrant, two students were crying when they told a teacher's assistant Taylor sent boys out of a classroom on recess, told them to sit at a table, and took photos of their groins and buttocks. Records indicate a fifth grade teacher reported several girls told her Taylor took illicit photos of them, and they in turn snapped pictures of him with a school iPad.

In a sworn statement, another teacher's assistant reported she saw Taylor taking photographs under a desk, and a student told the TA Taylor ordered her to "fix her body," then started grunting while his phone was facing her and another student under the table. Homeland Security agents reported a video showing the crotch area of a person matching the clothing of a student from that report had been deleted. 

Deputies report a student told investigators most female students were uncomfortable in Taylor's class because he would stand too close to them, touch their hair, flip it over their faces, and generally held his phone under tables while female students were called up to the front of the room. The student told investigators Taylor would grunt as if frustrated, while holding his phone under the table. 

Deputies secured and executed a search warrant on Taylor's home Feb. 26  During the search, deputies report Taylor told them he had an explanation for the allegations against him. He said he was always playing with his phone, and he had taken "a dozen" inappropriate photographs of juvenile female students on accident. Records indicate Taylor told deputies he knew the photos were there for about two weeks, then said he didn't know how his phone worked. When asked how he was able to take photos zoomed in and centered on students' crotch areas, he said it was because he was tall and holds his phone low, then explained the phone under the table as an accident. 

Taylor reportedly told deputies he had searched for and accessed child pornography when he was in his mid-20s, Homeland Security investigators report Taylor manually searched for child pornography on his cell phone and stored a photo on his home laptop. 

Charged with possession of child pornography, Taylor is held on $10,000 bond.

Lubbock-Cooper ISD issued this statement:

"Student safety and well-being is the utmost priority of Lubbock-Cooper ISD. As soon as campus administrators were made aware of potentially inappropriate behavior exhibited by this employee, the employee was removed from the classroom and was not permitted any further contact with Lubbock-Cooper ISD students. The district immediately contacted law enforcement officials and cooperated fully in the investigative process, which began the same day. This employee resigned on Friday, February 22, during the investigation."


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