Police Confiscate Classroom Chair, iPad In Tulsa Teacher Sex Crimes Case
TULSA, Oklahoma - New details have emerged in the case of a Tulsa sixth-grade teacher accused of molesting a student.
Police said a gift is what first got Brian Drabek in trouble.
According to police, he bought a 12-year-old student an iPad, and when her mother asked about it, the girl admitted it came from Drabek.
He was arrested at his school on Thursday afternoon.
Aside from the iPad, detectives said they confiscated the chair from Drabek's classroom at Thoreau Demonstration Academy on Friday afternoon. Records show they also took a computer, a comforter, a love note, cell phone and two dozen DVDs from his home.
Drabek, 41, reportedly admitted he sent inappropriate text messages to the student, picked her up at her house and took her to his house where he touched her.
Police say touching incidents also happened at school in Drabek's classroom at Thoreau Demonstration Academy, when he and the student met before school.
Drabek claimed the relationship grew over time, police said.
Detectives say that is very common. They call it grooming, where the person makes the child feel special, gets them alone and gives them gifts.
Investigators say those gifts from an adult to a child are red flags.
"That's a big red flag for parents if kids are getting gifts from adults," Child Crisis detective Danielle Bishop said. "The adults should always talk to a parent before giving a gift."
It's critical parents know who their kids are with and what they're doing, especially electronically, Bishop said, and parents should know their kids' passwords and check their devices frequently.
In this case, Drabek asked the student to delete his messages, because he was worried about going to jail, according to police.
"I would say be aware of secretive behavior, having a phone and when you walk into the room, they put the phone down. That's a clue they're talking to someone they shouldn't or talking about something they shouldn't," Bishop said.
Kids should be willing to talk openly about time they spend with a counselor, teacher or mentor, Bishop said, and what they did and what was said. She says parents should ask children if they are communicating with adults after hours.
She says rather than teach kids they must obey all authority figures blindly, teach them to tell you if they have a funny feeling about someone, whether a family member or someone at church or school.
"You can be polite, but you don't have to be nice if you have a gut feeling something's wrong," Bishop said. "You don't have to spend time with that person, hang out with that person. Explain to parents if just don't have a good feeling about them."
Child crisis detectives said the staff at Thoreau has been excellent in dealing with the situation, both with police and parents.
Drabek remains on paid leave.
No charges have been filed yet.