Sarah Beam is a Houston-area teacher who put her 13-year-old son in the trunk of her car to take him to a coronavirus test, according to Harris County court records. The 41-year-old Beam was arrested by the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District Police on January 8, 2022, on a felony charge of endangering a child, court records show. Beam was trying to avoid further exposure to her COVID-positive son, according to court documents.
The incident occurred on January 3, 2022, at a COVID testing site at Pridgeon Stadium in Houston, according to Harris County court documents obtained by Heavy on Houston. The site was being run by the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, where Beam works, court documents show. She works at Cypress Falls High School. The district’s director of health services called police after finding Beam’s son in the trunk of her car while she was waiting in line for testing, according to court documents.
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Here’s what you need to know about Texas teacher Sarah Beam:
1. A Witness Heard a Noise Coming From the Trunk of the Car & Surveillance Video Showed Sarah Beam’s Son Getting Out of the Trunk & Into the Back Seat While They Were in Line for COVID Testing, Court Documents Show
Witnesses became suspicious after hearing a noise coming from the trunk of Sarah Beam’s car while she waited in line for COVID testing at the drive-thru site at Pridgeon Stadium, according to KPRC. Cypress Fairbanks ISD Police Officer Guilibldo Romero Jr. investigated the incident, according to court documents obtained by Heavy on Houston.
Romero wrote in his report that Cy-Fair ISD Director of Health Services Bevin Gordon called police after she found the teen boy in the trunk of Beam’s car while gathering information from drivers waiting in line. Gordon told police Beam told her she put her son “in the trunk to prevent her from getting exposed to possible COVID while driving” him to the stadium for testing, according to court documents.
Gordon “stated that when she requested to see the child,” Beam, “had to unlatch the trunk of the vehicle in which the child was lying down inside the trunk.” Gordon told Beam she could not receive COVID testing until the child was removed from the trunk and got into the backseat of the vehicle. Gordon said she called police and when she returned, the boy was in the backseat. Romero said in his report that surveillance video from nearby Campbell Middle School showed the boy exiting the trunk of the car and entering the backseat on the passenger side.
Beam is charged with endangering a child. According to court documents, Harris County prosecutors said Beam “did unlawfully, recklessly engage in conduct that placed,” her son, “in imminent danger of bodily injury,” by placing her son “inside the truck of a moving vehicle without any proper seating and/or safety restraints.”
2. Beam Has Been a Teacher in the Cy-Fair ISD Since 2011 & She Was Named the District’s ‘Spotlight Teacher’ in 2017
Beam is an English teacher at Cypress Falls High School and has worked in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District since 2011, officials said. Social media posts from Cypress Falls High School shows she was recognized as a “Spotlight Teacher” by the district in 2017. She most recently taught 10th grade English, district records show.
The high school’s Facebook page wrote in 2017, “Congratulations to Mrs. Sarah Beam for being named Cypress Falls’ Spotlight Teacher. She is one amazing lady who sees the best in every one of her students.” In another 2017 post, the high school wrote, “Celebrating one special lady tonight! Congratulations Mrs. Beam, Cypress Falls’ spotlight teacher! You exemplify what it means to truly love your students.”
Cy-Fair ISD issued a statement about Beam and the incident saying, “CFPD was alerted that a child was in the trunk of a car at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site earlier this week. Law enforcement conducted a full investigation, resulting in a warrant for arrest. Thankfully, the child was not harmed.” Beam has been placed on administrative leave while the case is investigated, according to the school district.
In a document from the school district celebrating Spotlight teachers in 2017, Cypress Falls principal Becky Denton said, “Sarah Beam is a master at building relationships. She is engaging, energetic, positive and works tirelessly to ensure that students have what they need to be successful both in English and in life. Sarah’s genuine kindness paves the way to allow students – even those who struggle the most – to have confidence in their ability to succeed.
Denton added, “The intentional relationships she builds with families provide a solid foundation for her students to achieve well beyond the doors of her classroom. Sarah’s students take ownership of their learning because she gives them the courage to do just that. Sarah Beam changes lives at Cypress Falls High School every single day.”
3. Beam, Who Lives in Jersey Village, Has Not Commented About the Incident
Beam her family live in Jersey Village, according to public records. Beam could not be reached by Heavy on Houston for comment and she has not made any public statements about the incident, the charges filed against her and her arrest. It was not immediately clear if Beam has hired an attorney who could speak on her behalf. No attorney is listed for Beam in Harris County court records.
Beam, who was previously known as Sarah Knoff and Sarah Hendrix, has also lived in Jacksonville, Texas, according to public records. She currently lives with her husband, Colton Crossley. The couple have been married since 2011, public records show. They were married in Harris County.
It was not immediately clear if Beam and her husband have any other children other than the 13-year-old boy police say she stashed in the trunk of her car for COVID testing. According to court documents, the boy was not physically harmed during the incident that led to his mother’s arrest.
“I have never heard of somebody being put in a trunk because they tested positive for anything,” Sergeant Richard Standifer of the Texas Department of Public Safety told KHOU. “In the event that the vehicle is in a crash, there’s no way to really secure a person in a trunk. Most of your vehicles are constructed with crumple zones in the front and rear of the vehicle, so if the individuals 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.”
4. Beam’s Father, Louis Ray Beam Jr. Is a White Supremacist Leader Who Was Accused of Kidnapping Her When She Was 2
Sarah Hadassah Beam is the daughter of white supremacist Louis Ray Beam Jr., who was once a fugitive on the FBI’s Top 10 list, according to a law enforcement bulletin from 1987. The FBI alert said Louis Ray Beam was with his then-wife and his daughter, Sarah, while on the run from seditious conspiracy charges. The elder Beam was eventually caught in Mexico in 1987, according to the FBI.
According to The Associated Press, her father, “had been grand dragon of the United Klans of America until the 1970s when he was banished for mishandling funds. He then formed his own ragtag Klan band. Beam left the KKK in the early 1980s for The Order, an extremist Nazi group in the Northwest that sought to overthrow the U.S. government through violence and replace it with an ‘Aryan Nation’ of white warriors, the FBI said.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Louis Beam was accused of kidnapping his daughter from a Dallas apartment while she was 2 and living with her mother, Beam’s third wife, in 1982. Louis Beam is now 75 and gave his last public speech in 1996, according to the SPLC.
“In the years since the turn of the millennium, Beam has written an occasional essay, but seems to have gone dormant, at least in the visible parts of the white supremacist movement. He lives with his fifth wife in New Braunfels, in the hill country of central Texas, and has raised twin sons there. While he remains a revered figure in the pantheon of the radical right, and his essays are still important, it remains to be seen if he will return to active participation in the movement,” the SPLC says.
According to the SPLC, “An iconic figure of the radical right, Louis Beam played a key role in shaping the revolutionary racist movement in the United States during the three decades following the Vietnam War as one of its principal theorists and strategists. Beam mentored domestic terrorists, popularized the concept of ‘leaderless resistance,’ and helped guide the white supremacist movement into the computer age.”
5. Beam Posted $1,500 Bond After Being Booked at the Harris County Jail on January 8
A warrant for Sarah Beam’s arrest was issued in Harris County on January 5, 2022, and she was booked at the Harris County Jail on January 8, 2022. She has not yet appeared in court. Beam posted $1,500 bond and was released from custody hours after her booking, records show.
According to court documents, Beam is not allowed to possess firearms or ammunition, must submit to random urinalysis, is prohibited from using alcohol or drugs and must agree to electronic monitoring and possible curfew as terms of her bond. Beam is also prohibited from “communicating” with her son “in a threatening or harassing manner,” court records show. She must also submit to a mental health evaluation.
Beam’s next court date has not been scheduled, Harris County court records show. According to Texas state law, endangering a child is a state jail felony. Beam faces a potential sentence of 180 days to 2 years in jail if convicted of the charge. She coulda also be fined up to $10,000.