KEY POINTS

  • The mother drove to a testing site in Harris County to obtain additional testing
  • Staff refused to test the boy unless he was moved to the backseat of the car
  • The mother said she put the boy in the trunk to protect herself from the virus

A Texas teacher has been accused of locking her son up in the trunk of her car after he tested positive for COVID-19. The mother claimed she did it to protect herself from exposure.

Sarah Beam, a teacher at Cypress Falls High School, drove her 13-year-old boy to a drive-through testing site at Pridgeon Stadium in northwest Harris County on Jan. 3 to obtain additional testing, according to court documents. Some people heard noises coming from her trunk and alerted authorities, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Beam informed Bevin Gordon, the director of health services at Cy-Fair Independent School District (ISD), that her son tested positive for the virus. The officer found the boy lying down inside the car's trunk and told the mother that they wouldn't conduct the test unless he was moved to the backseat of the vehicle.

The Cy-Fair Police Department officers arrived at the scene and found the boy safe, reported NBC affiliated KPRC 2. Investigators retrieved surveillance footage that showed the boy getting out of the trunk and making his way to the backseat.

"CFPD was alerted that a child was in the trunk of a car at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site earlier this week," Cy-Fair ISD said in a statement. "Law enforcement conducted a full investigation, resulting in a warrant for arrest. Thankfully, the child was not harmed."

Beam, who has been employed as a Cy-Fair ISD teacher since 2011, was charged with endangering a child. She was placed on administrative leave following the incident.

"I have never heard of somebody being put in a trunk because they tested positive for anything," Sgt. Richard Standifer with the Texas Department of Public Safety told CBS affiliated KHOU 11 News.

Although the boy was unhurt, Standifer said the child could have been in grave danger if an accident had taken place.

"In the event that the vehicle is in a crash, there's no way to really secure a person in a trunk," Standifer added.

"Most of your vehicles are constructed with crumple zones in the front and rear of the vehicle, so if the individual's 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," the officer continued.

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Representative image Credit: Pixabay
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