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NIXON, Texas -- A Nixon-Smiley Middle School teacher accused of having an improper relationship with a 14-year-old student has been charged with a felony and is now behind bars.

According to the school district, 24-year-old Houston Alan Mercier teaches seventh grade physical education and works as a volunteer softballcoach for the high school.

Superintendent Cathy Booth said Mercier began work at Nixon-Smiley just a few months ago after another teacher abruptly left.

Police received a complaint Monday. They brought Mercier in for questioning and arrested him Tuesday night.He is charged with an improper relationship between a teacher and student, a second degree felony.

Booth said the allegations reflect poorly on the district.

Parents just need the reassurance I do take the safety of their children very seriously. Booth said. I hope this thing never happens again. We do the background checks and the fingerprinting.... Ever so often something sneaks through... I don't know how to avoid it.

Mercier has been placed on indefinite leave.

Concerned parents are encouraged to contact administrators or counselors.

Nixon is about 30 miles east of San Antonio.

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