Ellarea Silva

Ellarea Silva

Zachary School Superintendent Scott Devillier on Friday defended the lack of official communications from the school district about the investigation of a middle school science teacher arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of one of her students.

Ellarea Silva, 34, remained in Parish Prison on Friday on multiple charges, including felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, with a bond of $225,000. She was placed on leave Jan. 24 from Northwestern Middle School, where she’s taught science for the past 10 years.

After acknowledging Silva was on leave, the school district said little about the case for two weeks.

In a letter sent Friday afternoon to Zachary school parents, Devillier acknowledged that “many of you have concerns about a lack of detail in our communications on this matter” but he did not want to “hinder the criminal investigation” by saying too much.

“As an active police investigation, a personnel matter and a matter involving a minor child, what we can share is limited by both state and federal law,” Devillier wrote.

The most vocal critic has been Zachary Councilman Lael Montgomery, who has called for the firing of Northwestern Middle School Principal Debbie Brian for her handling of the matter. Montgomery, who said he knows and has been talking to the mother of the victim, maintains the school should have acted sooner and should have been more open about what was happening during the investigation.

“Once all the facts come out, when you read everything, you’re going to see that everyone really dropped the ball,” he said.

Devillier told The Advocate on Thursday he's planning to take no action against Brian.

Email Charles Lussier at clussier@theadvocate.com and follow him on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier.