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Officials: Former Oklahoma teacher arrested in Texas for inappropriate relationship with student

Joseph Kolt Palmer

Joseph Kolt Palmer

YALE, Okla. – A former Oklahoma teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student is behind bars.

Joseph Kolt Palmer is charged with engaging in sexual communication with a minor by use of technology.

On Sept. 19, NewsChannel 4 learned that Palmer was working at a school in Texas.

“He knew that charges were coming. So, what did he do? He got up and bailed and went to Texas and, when he bailed and went to Texas, he basically created, found another loophole,” said Oklahoma Sen. Kyle Loveless.

In fact, the superintendent said he was unaware of Palmer’s past in Oklahoma until KFOR called him.

The Texas Education Agency says that Palmer underwent a background check, but had not been officially charged with a crime yet, so there were no red flags.

Superintendent Phil Edwards at the Kemp Independent School District in Texas, where Palmer is employed, sent us this statement:

“We are working with authorities locally and at the state level to investigate the Oklahoma charges we are only just now hearing about.

I can tell you that we thoroughly screened the employee in question prior to hiring him – as we check all our employees – and found his record to be clear based on information available at the time. That employee is now on administrative leave as we continue looking into this matter.

Student safety is and will remain an issue of paramount concern at Kemp ISD.”

On Tuesday, an arrest warrant was issued for Palmer for engaging in sexual communication with a minor by use of technology.

According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Palmer was arrested by sheriff’s deputies in Kaufman County, Texas around 3 p.m. on Tuesday.