Coronavirus: Texas teacher accused of keeping son in trunk at test site

HOUSTON — A Texas teacher is accused of keeping her 13-year-old son in the trunk of her vehicle at a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site because she did not want to be exposed to him, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news

Sarah Beam, 41, of Houston, was charged with endangering a child, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Her son had previously tested positive for COVID-19, KPRC-TV reported.

According to charging documents, Beam, a teacher at Cypress Falls High School in Houston, drove to a testing site at Pridgeon Stadium on Monday, KTRK-TV reported. Bevin Gordon, the district director of health services, said she was gathering information from vehicles in line for COVID-19 testing when she confirmed with Beam that a child was in the trunk of her car, Fox News reported.

When Beam opened her trunk, her son was found lying down inside, KPRC reported.

Beam reportedly said her son was in the trunk because she did not want to be exposed to the virus, KHOU-TV reported.

“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 the television station.

The boy was not hurt, but Standifer said he was in danger because the teen was not protected by a seat belt.

“In the event that the vehicle is in a crash, there’s no way to really secure a person in a trunk,” Standifer told KHOU. “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.”

Surveillance video shows the teen got out of the trunk and moved to the back seat, KTRK reported.

According to officials with the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, Beam has been an employee since 2011. She was placed on administrative leave, KRPC reported.

According to the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Police Department, a warrant has been issued for Beam’s arrest, the television station reported.

More coronavirus pandemic coverage:

>> Coronavirus: How long between exposure to the virus and the start of symptoms?

>> What are your chances of coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19? This tool will tell you

>> How to not let coronavirus pandemic fatigue set in, battle back if it does