Former Eden Prairie students allege inappropriate conduct long before teacher was charged

In the days after child endangerment charges were filed against former Eden Prairie High School teacher Craig Hollenbeck, other students have come forward with what they described to FOX 9 as "uncomfortable" experiences with the teacher.

Court documents filed Friday allege that 51-year-old Craig Hollenbeck carried out an intimate relationship with a former student that included text messages, social media messages and FaceTime calls.

Law enforcement claims they uncovered private messages between the student and teacher in which he told them he fell in love with them while they were in his class, and that he worried someone may walk in while they were alone.

FOX 9 corresponded with about a dozen former students who had Hollenbeck for a teacher, some of whom shared text messages that appear to be from the teacher. 

In one direct message from a now deactivated Twitter account, Hollenbeck allegedly tells a former student, "I want to do more than DM you" and proceeds to give her his cell phone number and Snap Chat username.

Another recent graduate shared screenshots of text messages that allegedly came from Hollenbeck. In the series of messages, he talks about a book they both recently read.

"It’s nice to let my guard down with former students I enjoy and admire," he wrote, going on to discuss the book. "Ok I need to stop and ask you if you are comfortable if I talk about that scene where Oliver sees Elio in his underwear. There’s no way to talk about that without being…..descriptive."

Most former students detail how the social studies teacher was very popular among students and faculty, but in hindsight, they view the relationships he formed with female students as inappropriate and "predatory" in nature.

None of the students who came to FOX 9 went to police with concerns.

A district spokesperson said, to his knowledge, the school was unaware of allegations of inappropriate correspondence between Hollenbeck and his students.

Hollenbeck only received one complaint in his 23 years at Eden Prairie High School. He resigned days later on September 28, 2021.

In a statement, Eden Prairie Schools said: "We want to assure our families, students and the Eden Prairie community that the well-being of our students is our highest priority.  Any alleged misconduct by employees that is brought to our attention is immediately investigated and addressed."