Editor's note: A fifth educator has been arrested in the investigation. Go here to read our most recent story.
A former special education teacher who worked in an East Texas Advanced Academies classroom in Longview ISD was arrested and released from jail Monday on multiple charges of injuring a child.
Cecilia Gregg, a Longview resident who turned 57 in May, was released on bonds totaling $50,000 following her indictment on June 22 on eight separate charges of injuring a child younger than 14. Her arrest follows three other arrests of former J.L. Everhart Elementary employees this past week as part of the same investigation. Paula Hawkins Dixon, who will turn 59 on July 26, is a former teacher’s aide who was indicted on a total of 11 counts of injury to a child. Cassandra Renee James, 47, former principal at Everhart , and Linda Kaye Brown Lister, 60, former assistant principal, each were indicted on a single charge of endangering a child.
The investigation into the abuse allegations surfaced earlier this year following the unexplained resignation of former East Texas Advanced Academies CEO Cynthia Wise, who also received a $350,000 lump sum payment. East Texas Advanced Academies is a charter school that operates six campuses within Longview ISD. ETAA is not associated with East Texas Charter Schools on Alpine Road in Longview.
Information obtained through requests for public information, as well as information previously provided by Tyler attorney Shane McGuire, revealed the abuse allegations involving special education students.
The allegations against Gregg were detailed in the indictments and list children with the same initials as children whose alleged abuse was detailed in the earlier arrests. All of them were younger than 14, with the alleged injuries occurring on different dates than those listed in the earlier indictments of James, Lister and Dixon.
The indictments against Gregg say she caused bodily injury “ to G. T.,” “ R.C.,” “K.RE.,” “C.R.,” “G.M.,” M.P.,” and K.RO” by striking the children with her hand. She also is accused of “forcing J.G. to and against a table with the hand of defendant and forcing a face mask to and against J.G. with the hand of defendant and striking J.G with a can.” The allegations are related to incidents that occurred in August, September and October 2021.