SAN ANTONIO – Six months after she says her reputation was dragged through the mud, a San Antonio charter school administrator wants the agency that arrested her to help clear her name.
On April 28, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office arrested Tara Hunter, then an assistant principal at IDEA Amber Creek - now called IDEA Ambrose & Freda Robinson Academy, for injury to a child. A 5-year-old student said Hunter had pushed him into a cabinet in her office, which she said never happened.
Sheriff Javier Salazar held a press conference on her arrest, which was also posted on Facebook where it had 11,000 views as of the publication of this story.
The charge against Hunter is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison, but prosecutors had the case dismissed on Sept. 8, citing insufficient evidence.
A spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services confirmed that there had been a joint investigation with law enforcement and Child Protective Investigations, but said the results of CPI probes are not public record.
Although IDEA Public Schools says it’s ready to have Hunter back on a new campus, she is looking for Salazar and his office to apologize and highlight her case’s dismissal in the same way it highlighted her arrest.
“Whatever platform he used, you need to make it right,” Hunter told KSAT in an interview on Friday. “The same platform that you smeared my name, the same platform that you ran it in multiple languages. I want that same apo - I want you to apologize for what you have done to me.”
Hunter credited her faith in helping her get through the past six months. Pastor Jerry Dailey of Macedonia Baptist Church has been one of her allies and also believes an apology is in order.
“That won’t correct all that has been done. But why can’t you do that?” he asked.
Asked for comment on Friday, BCSO sent the following statement:
“At the root of this case is a little boy who sustained real injuries, and protecting him is our top priority. We made the decision to arrest based upon probable cause presented to a judge. The case is still ongoing in our office and we will continue to investigate. We will defer to the District Attorney’s Office as to why they took the actions they did.”
When KSAT asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Bexar County District Attorney’s office sent an emailed statement saying only that “this case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence on Sep. 8, 2022.”
Hunter had been a “founding” assistant principal at the school, in her position for roughly one year before she was arrested and her life was turned upside down.
“I was persecuted. I was ridiculed. My name was smeared. It has caused emotional anguish with my children,” she said.
Hunter was put on administrative leave at work, though a spokeswoman for IDEA Public Schools said she was taken off of it this week.
The charter school network is prepared to put her back on campus as the assistant principal of instruction at IDEA Harvey E. Najim College Preparatory, though Hunter is nervous there will be parents who still believe the original accusation.
“So I’m just praying that people will see that I am a a true, living individual who loves children,” she said. “I am a human being that would do whatever it takes to make sure that our children get the great, high quality education that they deserve.”