Archive for the ‘teacher/student relationship’ Category

You did your best to ruin it for us. So caught up in your jealousy and insecurities. You pulled out all the stops. I’ve never quite figured that part out because (thank God) I do not and cannot think like you. Why, when you pretty much screwed anything with a dick (regardless of age or you being a “teacher”) while you were married to him, did it upset you so much to see him happy? You were not a wife to him. You barely fit the definition of a mother. You repeatedly put his children in dangerous and unhealthy situations. Yet, somehow, in that warped mind of yours, you were the victim.

You are incapable of accepting responsibility for your actions. That has always fascinated me. Everything is always someone else’s fault. One of our attorneys used to say that you believed your own lies. For years, I couldn’t wrap my head around that statement. Now I have come to see it is true. You do believe your own lies and you can spin some dandies!

For instance, you would tell the kids that I was the reason that you and Daddy were not together. You had to come up with some story I suppose because you certainly couldn’t have told them the truth…”Mommy is a raging whore who spreads her legs for anyone willing to jump between them and Daddy isn’t going to put up with that anymore.” Never mind that I didn’t come into the picture until well after your divorce was final. Don’t worry, they’re adults now. Whether they choose to admit it to themselves or not, they realize the truth.

What about telling them that I “took them from you”? Telling these little kids that I am the reason they could not live with you after their Dad got custody, when they were all still elementary school age. How disgusting is that? Who does that to little kids? Without blinking an eye, you repeatedly victimized your own children.You vilified their father and denigrated the only stable home they had known. Once again, you couldn’t be truthful about your actions, could you? You would have had to admit things such as: “Mommy has sex with high school boys.” “Mommy leaves you alone in the middle of the night without supervision.” “Mommy doesn’t have enough money to pay bills because she has no understanding of money management.” (How about that you can’t even do a simple excel spreadsheet? Damn I am glad we don’t have to try anymore to make sense of that shit you would send over for medical/dental billing. Ugh!)

But here’s what you didn’t know then and still don’t know now. You don’t know me. You will never know me. In over 17 years, you’ve never once had the balls to have a face to face conversation with me. Not even while we were sitting in the same room. Not even while we were in court ordered family counseling. You have gone to my husband with complaints about me, but never once came to me. You have talked about me in class at the school where you are supposed to be teaching. You have spoke about me during activities out in the community with the kids to other parents. You have continuously and consistently pumped your children for any shred of information, the tiniest detail about me, that they could produce. Sickening. And you keep forgetting what a small community we live in. Word travels fast.

So, let’s clear up your confusion. Let me address your misgivings in writing since you are too much of a chicken shit to ever say something straight to my face.

1) I’m not the kind of woman to mess with “someone else’s man”. I’ve never experienced a shortage of men interested in dating me. Not bragging, just saying. Furthermore, I wouldn’t want any man who was with another woman and trying to get me on the side. If they do it with you, they’ll do it to you. To me he would be a lowlife, and I deserve better. No home wrecker here.

2) You lost custody of your children because of your actions. Your lust for teenage boys got you in hot water, not me. Did I try to get you fired from your teaching position? You damn right I did! Any decent person would want you removed from any position giving you access to and/or influence over kids of any age. It is beyond my comprehension that you are still teaching. But fear not, the truth always comes out sooner or later. And shame on each and every teacher and administrator that knows of your vile history and has helped cover it up.

3) Your pathetic attempts at getting personal information from the kids was repulsive. You even went so far as to actually try to get your oldest son to find out where on my body my tattoo was located. I can just imagine what your deviant mind was hoping to do with that information. Here’s a news flash for you…solid, respectable woman do not tell little boys about their personal body markings. Not ever!

4) I will admit I have enjoyed messing with you a bit from time to time. Perfect example, all your calls or emails to my husband about properties we were looking at, congratulating us. Especially funny given my profession. We never shared or discussed anything of a personal nature in front of them or even while they were with us in the house for that matter. It had to be that way. Perfect example of this is my classic Mustang. For years I had a 1964-1/2 Mustang K code classic car. One of the daughters would have loved that car! She would have begged to ride in it and drive it. Sadly, she never even knew we had it. You probably would have gone out and started buying classic cars the way you started trying to buy luxury cars after I bought my Mercedes. We kept things private because we knew the kids would be interrogated by you the minute they got home. We simply let you jump to conclusions based on our activities filtered through the eyes of your envy. You get so caught up trying to make people think you’re wealthy. That’s your game, not mine.

You can put what you know about me in a thimble. You don’t know the people I associate with personally or professionally. My friends or associates aren’t going to talk to you. You don’t know my assets and resources. I made sure of that very early on. If you could have gotten child support from my income, you would have. Scavenger that you are. Remember when you had your attorney ask in court if I intended to buy a Porsche? Did I buy that Porsche? You don’t know because it’s simply none of your damn business. You don’t know what I own because you don’t know me. You don’t know where, how or when I travel. Rest assured, our paths are not likely to cross. Even the most obvious things about me you can’t know because what you do think you know was pieced together from bits and pieces you squeezed out of children. Pathetic.

No, you don’t know me. You never will.

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Since publishing the post I recently submitted called The Jealous Wife, more and more instances of crazy behavior from this woman came to mind. She has worked long and hard to hurt me. As one of our attorneys said, “She believes her own lies.”

At first, I didn’t see how that could be true, but as time went on and various events took place, the truth of this statement became evident. In her twisted mind, everything that happened relating to having custody of her children taken away, not being able to reconnect with my husband, mismanagement of her finances, you name it, she see’s it as all my fault. She truly does believe her own lies.

What’s more, she has worked hard to get other people to believe her lies. My oldest stepson used to tell me when he was around 10 or 11 that his Mom told him I am the reason she and Dad split up. Really? What do you say to a child when they tell you that? I gently told him the truth.  “No, your Mom and Dad were separated and divorced before I ever met your Dad.”  No venom.  Just fact.

An agent I currently work with told me she was apprehensive about me coming to their office because of everything she and the other soccer Mom’s had been told about me by the ex when the kids were little.  She went on to tell me that within the group of Mom’s they questioned what they were being told because they didn’t believe that the courts would take custody away from the mother and give it to us if any of what she was saying had been true. Everyone knows how hard it is to take custody from a mother, especially in a particularly conservative area.  Thankfully, she realized after meeting me and working with me a short time that it was all bullshit.  But still, who knows what things this woman has said to others around town?  I am self-employed as a Realtor.  My reputation matters.

What about the girls at school cornering my daughter and asking why I was “stealing” this teacher’s children from her? Stealing her children? Right. That is the fairy tale – marry the man of your dreams, and then less than a year later, bring four (yes! FOUR!) more little kids into the house to feed, bathe, and care for on top of two you already have plus your corporate management career. Trust me. I was NOT out to “steal” anyone’s kids. But I did whole-heartedly support my husband’s quest to make sure his children were safe and provided for in a healthy environment. How much talking about me in her classroom did this woman have to do for these high school kids to believe I was trying to steal her children?  And what kind of crazy do you need to be to try to take your anger and shortcomings out on my child at school?  She was not even mature enough to bring it straight to me.  Instead, she had my child bullied on her turf, the high school.  Pathetic.

Speaking of talking about me in the classroom, on several occasions I would be out in the community (grocery store, bank, retail stores) only to have someone high school age helping me and recognize my name. Many times, they would say they knew who I was from their high school English teacher. One girl at a grocery store told me that her English teacher was “obsessed” with me and could not stop talking about me. That’s just creepy. Crazy. And unprofessional, to say the least.

She even went so far as to use my “jealousy” as a defense against me trying to get her fired.  Jealous?  Really?  Jealous of a grown, middle-aged woman, sexually and emotionally abusing high school boys?  What do you say to that besides YUCK!?!  Of course I was trying to get her fired!  I have NEVER denied that.  Any decent human being would want this woman fired and never allowed in a position of authority over children of any age.  This woman – or ANYONE like her – does not need to be in a classroom or anywhere she has contact with students.  For the life of me, I do not understand how it could be that she is still a teacher in this school district.  It’s like my daughter first said to me years ago, “Everyone knows Mom, but nobody does anything about it.”

And so, for all these years this woman has done her best to wreak havoc in our home.  She has wreaked havoc on her own children.  She has certainly wreaked havoc in the classroom.  All the while pointing her fingers at me.  Deflecting responsibility. She is great at playing the victim.  Somehow, in her mind, it has all happened because I am the jealous wife.  Or so she wishes.

Me:  “Excuse me, WHAT?  My stepdaughter is DATING a registered sex offender?”

Other parent:  “Yes.  And her Mother knows about it too.”

Over the past 12 years I have come to expect all types of ridiculous, drama-laden behavior from my husband’s ex, but this was a bit much.  I mean, she isn’t ever going to win any awards for parenting, but letting her daughter date a registered sex offender?  Even she couldn’t be THAT dumb!

My mistake.  This “mother” is indeed allowing her daughter to date a registered Sex Offender.  A Level 2 Registered Sex Offender.  Guilty of Sexual Solicitation of a Child.  But it’s even worse than that.  This woman is a high school English teacher.  She not only allows her daughter to date this guy, but she allowed him (at least once, although I am told on more than one occasion) to sit in her classroom for an entire class period.  How is this even possible?  Why would a registered sex offender even be allowed on campus?  Worse yet, one of his victims was in that class.  How must it have felt for the young girl?  By law she must attend class, yet there she sits, watching as the teacher and her daughter cut-up and carry on with her perpetrator during class time.

After speaking with a couple of parents directly involved as well as the parents of the above mentioned girl, I called the Superintendent of our school district.  She seemed to very upset to hear what I had to share.  She assured me that there was no way any sex offender should EVER be allowed on school grounds without her personal knowledge and her permission.  She asked me to call the Principal of the High School.  Given my personal history of dealing with school administrators when my daughter was having trouble with this same teacher, I declined.  I explained that my interest was in making sure that she, as the Superintendent, knew of the situation, and could get it investigated and handled appropriately.  I told her that the parents of the student had contacted the school resource officer and the investigator that worked the case.  They intended to pursue resolution from the legal/criminal side.  The Superintendent asked if the parents would call the Principal and I assured her they would.  She said that she would make the Principal aware that the call would be coming.

When one of the parents called the Principal, she was more than a little disappointed by what he had to report.  He advised her that the teacher’s response was admission that the young man had indeed been in her classroom. She stated he was only in her classroom for a few minutes, having stopped by with her daughter.  The teacher went on to say the only reason the student was upset about him being there because she used to “date” him and her daughter is now dating him.  Based on the teacher’s interpretation of the student having previously “dated” the offender it is clear that she doesn’t seem to comprehend the seriousness of the offense.  Then again, given the history of this teacher, perhaps she truly sees all of this as acceptable behavior.

What will be the outcome of all of this?  How can any of this be allowed?  Our School Board recently relieved a coach of his duties due to inappropriate language being used with his girls softball team.  Isn’t knowingly allowing a Registered Sex Offender on campus a more serious offense than that?  And what about having him come in a back entrance, so his presence is unknown to the Resource Officer and administrators?  The fact that this teacher would welcome a registered sex offender into her classroom, especially where she is aware (by her own admission) of the prior relationship between this man and one of her students is nothing less than appalling.  It is unprofessional and unethical, to say the least, and in my opinion, shows an absolute disregard for the safety and welfare of all students on campus.

This is all being watched with great interest by several people in our community.  In part because there are so many facets to the situation.  Didn’t the sex offender commit another crime by even being at the school?  Can’t the teacher be prosecuted for knowingly exposing God knows how many students to a registered sex offender?  What about allowing her minor child to date him?  Isn’t there a liability issue for the school with the student being exposed to her perpetrator? With many students being exposed to him?  And ultimately, is this the kind of behavior we will accept in our schools?  Is this the kind of person we want standing up in front our kids, influencing them every day?  How long is all this going to be allowed to go on?

It is no secret that I am very much against teachers having sexual relationships with their students.  In fact, I am opposed to anyone in a position of authority or trust with someone being physically involved with them.  This includes doctors with patients, lawyers with clients, counselors with clients, police officers during traffic stops, etc.  In the case of teachers and students I find it particularly offensive.  Maybe in part because I have personally watched the damage this behavior causes everyone even remotely involved.  Not just the victims, and yes, regardless of the gender of the student these kids are victims.  But mostly because these kids are required by law to sit every day in a controlled setting, subject to the personality and opinions of teachers.  They are in essence held as a captive audience.  They are young and impressionable.  Many of them easily manipulated by the people who should be protecting them and helping them grow.

For years now I have written on various blogs and voiced my opinion on various newspapers in response to articles that have covered the abuse of teachers against students.  It is my right as a citizen of the United States of America to voice my opinion.  As a responsible citizen I feel it is my duty to stand up for what is right and what is in the best interest of protecting all children.  And for years, my husband’s ex-wife has been threatening my husband with court action, hiding behind court orders that WE put in place solely for the protection of the children.  Here is a classic example of the threats she has made and the way she harasses my husband:

(This is my comment in response to a local newspaper article related to background checks for teachers.)

catqueen wrote on Mar 27, 2008 8:52 PM:

” I could not agree more on the background check, random drug checks and credit checks, same as any other profession. Add to that list an occassional check of public records. Many times teachers are involved in issues that are hidden in the family courts. Any type of legal activity should have to be reported by the teacher to the administration. After all, if there is nothing to hide, why not? There are some truly great teachers. Then, there are truly sick people who mascarade as teachers. It needs to come to an end and I think the media attention is helping to flush them out. “ 

 Here is the ex-wife’s e-mail to my husband about the above post which she included in her email as her example.

(Addressed to my Husband),

Your wife is at it again.  I’m copying (her attorney’s name here) on this.  You can rest assured that if you do not put an end to her incessent public bull, Judge X  will.  This is the second time I’ve discussed this issue with you, and it will be the last.   

(signed by ex-wife “teacher”)

In addition to the email above that she sent, she called him and requested that he check my computer for any posts about teachers having sex with students that I may be writing.  Sounds like an admission of guilt to me!  Below is a portion of his response to her.

(Addressed to the ex-wife),

The email you sent on Friday has me extremely upset and totally perplexed. I again read the posts on both of the websites you mentioned, (one dealt specifically with teacher/student sex and the other is local news online). You say that (my name here) is attacking you on both.

What I see are posts by concerned citizens expressing their disgust toward teachers who engage in sexual relationships with their students. There are many posts on each site relating much of the same disappointment and disgust that many people share. I see no where on any post the name (ex-wife’s name) mentioned or any reference to you.

(Part of response removed as it names specific names of students with whom she has been involved.)

 I believe that every time you read a newspaper or see a story on TV about another teacher getting arrested because of inappropriate contact with a student, you go to those websites in sheer paranoia that someone is going to spill the beans on you.

Maybe it is time to address these matters before the court. 

(Part of response removed as it deals with specifics of one of the children.)

 As far as (my name here) is concerned, if you have a problem with something you perceive she is doing, take it up with her. I do not control her actions, nor will I snoop on her computer to see what sites she is visiting as you asked me to do. 

 (ex’s name here), if you wish to take this issue before Judge X, my response is Let’s go!

Stop harassing me! DO NOT call me at work again unless it is a medical emergency dealing with our children. DO NOT call me to discuss (boyfriend that dumped her) or any other person you are involved with. That is your business and I do not wish to discuss it with you.

DO NOT call me about anything other than the exchange of information regarding our children.

 DO NOT email me again with threats of lawsuits. Do not email me for any reason other than the exchange of information regarding our children. 

I have documented every post, every article, every comment  I have written right along with the responses or comments at times made by her.  Never has her name been mentioned, yet she takes offense at me expressing my opinion.  “Me thinks thou dost protest too much.” – William Shakespeare

The prayer that I have is for one of truth.  I pray that my husband be seen and acknowledged as the wonderful man that he is.  Let him be seen as the loving and supportive Father that he is and always has been.  My prayer is this:  Let the truth be set free.

From time to time, when I really get to thinking about all that has happened with the school district as it relates to my husband’s ex, my mind wanders to the “mandatory reporters.”  Where are these people?  Who are they required to report to?  Why have they gotten away with NOT reporting?  So many questions, so few answers.

When my daughter was in high school, what caused her so much grief was that SHE was reporting a teacher who was known to have sex with students.  She told the administration on many occasions.  She told the Superintendent straight to her face about this teacher.  She sat with my attorney as I stood in front of the district Board of Education and not only told them, but we provided documentation from this teacher’s own testimony in family court about her relationship with one young man.  In the end, my daughter was the one punished.  Ostracized.  Alone.

The man who was the principal at that time has since retired.  He knew.  He had been this teacher’s principal when she was in high school.  They had been friends for many years.  His wife, also a teacher at this same high school – both when the ex was in high school and at the school my daughter attended where the ex was (and still is) a teacher – was also a close friend.  Can one honestly be expected to believe that neither of them knew about this woman’s history with students?  Especially with as much time as they spent together both in and out of the school setting.  Impossible.  Regardless, they were both mandatory reporters.

What about this teacher’s sister?  Once again, also a teacher at this same high school.  For many years their classrooms were right next to each other.  Is it possible that this sister was unaware of her sisters sexual habits with students?  Possibly.  But I find that unlikely.  The teacher and the student would often make trips to the home town of these sisters, visiting a family member, to spend together and avoid being seen in this area.  This sister is also the woman who called my husband the day after he got the test results that the third child wasn’t his and tried to shame him for uncovering that truth.  She is still a teacher at the high school and she is and always has been required to report suspected abuse.

Years ago, when my husband was first told about the rumors of the ex having sex with some of the football boys, he went to the administration of that small school.  Once again, mandatory reporters.

So what I wonder about often is exactly WHO is it these mandatory reporters are supposed to report suspected abuse to?  What happens to them if they don’t?  Clearly the list of people who stood by, knew this was going on – or strongly suspected it – and did nothing.  Actually, that’s not true.  What they did was allow countless students to be sexually and emotionally abused.  They promoted the exploitation of countless students by keeping quiet.  They are guilty of professional misconduct too.  But what happens to them?  In the case of the former principal and his wife, both are now retired.  Drawing a pension from teaching.  Personally, I don’t care how many years they taught, I don’t believe any of them should get one red cent of that State retirement.  They shirked their responsibilities to the students, their parents, the tax payers.

And what of the teacher who has sex with students?  What will the school district and the state board of education say when it is made known that the father of one of her children was a student of hers at the time of conception?  In this state, she cannot be prosecuted as the boys are all now over the age of 21 and the statute of limitations has expired.  Will she have her teaching license revoked?  Or will they try to quietly urge her to move to another district?  They did this before (she actually called my husband and told him that!) but she wasn’t smart enough to go. Maybe they will put another note in her personnel file that says she is not allowed to be around male students outside of the school setting?  (yes, she told my husband about this too and it was even discussed in family court.)  What is their liability in all of this?  What I really want to know is how do they live with themselves?

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

Ever notice how people squirm when you catch them up to no good?  It can be comical, unless you’re the constant target.  I read an email this morning from the ex to my husband.  It was l-o-n-g and full of things to deflect the real issue.  This is typical of all the correspondence I have read from her over the years.  She tries to be witty.  She will throw in stuff that is entirely off topic.  Many times she is just plain insulting.  I suppose she does this in an attempt to show herself superior to my husband.  It doesn’t work.  My husband calls these diversionary tactics “smoke and mirrors.”

In reality, this is an accurate description of her behavior.  Where there is smoke, there is fire, as the old saying goes and this woman can really puff up the smoke. I have learned over the years to stop expecting it to change.  It is very predictable.  When she is caught, or if things aren’t going the way she perceives they should go, it sets her off.  Sometimes, the behavior is simply annoying.  Continuous calls or a chain of emails.  There are always a lot of threats, usually some accusations.  The court order is a weapon for her to use against us, to threaten us and try to control us, yet she has violated it in too many ways to count.

An example of smoke.  Many years ago, when my stepchildren were little (11, 9, 7 and 5 yrs) and they lived with us, we were trying to decide whether it was better to buy a different home or add on to the current home.  We spent many Sundays going to open houses and looking at various properties.  One Sunday, we drove out to visit an open house just a ways out of town.  As we drove up to the house, all the kids started talking about the things that had gone in the house.  Unpleasant events that occurred when they were left unattended with the young siblings of the student their mother had been having sex with at the time.  There were times they told us they were locked out of the house without access to water or the toilet while “Mom and X were inside talking.”  The youngest girl reported that she had been tied to the bed with belts and locked in the bedroom with the doorknob removed.  Needless to say, we did not go into the house.  The kids were upset enough just driving by.  That all sounds pretty horrible, doesn’t it?  Very incriminating against the mother wouldn’t you say?  Well, when she got wind of it and knew what we KNEW, she called up my husband yelling and screaming.  Threatening him with exposing this in court as if he was the one who had allowed all of this to happen.  Telling him she was gonna’ rake us both over the coals in court!  See what I mean?  She was caught so she had to stir up some smoke.  Of course it was discussed in court, but not quite the way she imagined.  And thankfully, the kids had been to the court appointed counselor and everything had been documented because after midweek visitation with their mother, everything suddenly became “a dream” to the kids.

Mirrors.  Even after all this time, I continue to be amazed at how easily, and apparently without any remorse, she can take the truth and twist it up like a pretzel.  Suddenly she is the victim and everyone is out to get her.  Flash back again.  This time to before my stepchildren came to live with us.  My husband went over to pick the kids up for visitation.  The girls (remember, age 7 and 5 yrs) were upstairs in the mother’s bathroom showering.  They came down wrapped in towels.  One of the little girls went over and whispered in my husband’s ear “Daddy, X is upstairs in Mommy’s room.”  My husband told the kids to get dressed and ready to go.  He asked the ex to please step outside, where he confronted her about the teenage boy, then a current student, hiding in her room upstairs.  Lot’s of smoke and then, she turns it all around on him.  She was just trying to be considerate of his feelings by having the boy wait out of sight.  She was just tutoring him, after all.  Why would he always think the worst of her?  On and on and on…  The kids come outside, see the mother crying and clearly upset, and then don’t want to leave.  He doesn’t make them as that would only further upset them.  The next day, he follows up with an email, asking that she keep this student out of her home and away from the children.  He also cautions her on losing her teaching licensure.  She responds by telling him the kids are fine around “X” and why is it his business anyway.  She tells him “You don’t want me but you don’t want me to have anyone else either.”  Really?  Are you kidding me?  We’re talking about a HIGH SCHOOL boy here!

Beware of the smoke and the mirrors.  Tread carefully, but know that you have struck a nerve.  Document, document, document everything.  We have every bit of correspondence.  Hard copies are locked away in a safe deposit box.  Electronic copies are in various places and in the hands of a few trustworthy people.  Limit your phone contact and if you must communicate via phone, follow it up with an email documenting the details of the discussion.  Sounds like overkill doesn’t it?  In truth, I think it’s utterly ridiculous and a fabulous waste of time and energy.  That being said, I am sure glad we have done all of it.  It has saved our bacon time and again.

Stake your boundaries my friend.  And enforce them.

http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2006/06/walking-on-eggshells-dealing-with.html

How is it decided who gets punished for which crimes?  This is a question often on my mind, based on several different instances I am aware of, but none more often than when considering the crime of fraud.  Why does it seem that so many cases of fraud go unpunished?

Fraud is defined to be “an intentional perversion of truth” or a “false misrepresentation of a matter of fact” which induces another person to “part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal right.”  The synonyms are almost as descriptive as the definition: cheat, deceit, deception, swindle, fake, trickery, sham.

Fraud is a serious crime.  A felony in criminal courts, actionable in civil courts, in many cases a Federal offense.  It is rampant in our society, yet much of the time appears to go completely unpunished.  Why?  Shouldn’t someone be punished for “an intentional perversion of truth” especially when it costs another?

Paternity fraud is, in my opinion, one of the most despicable crimes there is today.  I have watched first-hand the damage it imparts.  Financially, mentally and emotionally.  Men are held hostage paying for children that are not biologically theirs; women are rewarded for their cheating, lying and continued deception.  And this is just on the surface.  The ramifications of this behavior runs deep.  Not only for the men and their families, but also for the children being raised in an environment with a woman who would do this.

In our case, we have been in court many times related to the children.  My husbands ex named all the children as biologically of the marriage in their divorce.  She collected child support for that child KNOWING it wasn’t my husbands.  When we had the DNA testing done, unbeknownst to us she told all four children on the day we had their cheeks swabbed that my husband wasn’t the biological father of one of them.  She defrauded the court by keeping all of this knowledge hidden when WE asked for a sealed order to protect this child.  The ex has used this sealed order as a weapon against my husband and myself since it entered into the file.  She KNEW she had already discussed this with all four children when this was written.  Is that not fraudulent?  Obviously, she does not want the biological father of this child identified because it confirms she committed a crime and although she cannot be criminally charged due to statute of limitations in this state, she would most likely lose her teaching license.  One would hope anyway.

When my husband and the ex were separated but not yet divorced she wanted a new car.  She had been driving a sedan, something appropriate for a woman with four small children.  Apparently sedans are not very attractive to teenage boys.  She went behind my husbands back and bought a Mitsubishi Eclipse.  We have a copy of the signed contract where it is obvious she forged his name.  This didn’t come to light until my husband and I were married and unfortunately by then too much time had passed to have her prosecuted.  When he confronted her about it she laughed.  At that point there wasn’t a thing he could do.  What really stinks is that in their divorce, my husband got stuck with the Eclipse because all four children couldn’t be safely transported in that car and she, being the “custodial” parent needed to be able to haul all four kids.  He had to give her the SUV.  How is this fair?  Why wasn’t she ordered to trade the vehicle and then forced to suffer the consequences of her own stupidity?  What really upsets me is that I know my husband isn’t the only man this type of thing has happened to or will happen to.  That is just plain wrong.

You know, here is the way I see it.  If any of us lied on our tax return and defrauded the IRS out of thousands of dollars the way my husband and many men like him have been defrauded, there would almost certainly be jail time.  At the very least there would be thousands of dollars in interest and penalties on the money and you can bet your bottom dollar they would see to it that every penny was repaid.  How is this any different?  Working men and their families need that money more than the IRS yet we knowingly allow them to be defrauded.

The thing to remember is that it doesn’t stop.  These people feel a sense of entitlement that is unbelievable.  What has to happen for us to stop allowing this behavior?  When are we going to treat paternity fraud as the crime that it is?

Don’t kid yourself.  There are no secrets in small towns.  In fact, I don’t believe there are secrets in big cities either, there are just more people so word of mouth has more ground to cover.  Think about it, isn’t this how all the politicians get caught in their shenanigans and how the self-righteous religious leaders get caught with their pants down?  Sooner or later, a secret comes to the attention of someone who knows it is wrong and is willing to step up and make it public.  Sadly, the people with the moral fortitude to come forward are few and far between.

Secrets, and “not airing your dirty laundry” in public, are how predators get away with their crimes.  Statistics tell us that only 30% of sexual assaults are reported.  They also tell us that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys will suffer sexual abuse by the age of 18.  90% of those crimes are committed by people known to the victim.  (See http://sex-offender-registry-review.toptenreviews.com/protecting-teens-from-sexual-abuse.html)   Open, honest communication about any type of personal issue is a must if we are going to protect our children and bring about change.

Airing our dirty laundry?  I don’t call it that.  I see it as making people aware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.  It is my belief that this is our responsibility.  To know of a crime being committed and to do nothing about it is in my book making yourself an accessory to that action.  People are arrested every day as accessories to various other crimes (not nearly as damaging in my opinion as any crime against a child) how is this any different?  The worst part is, the people committing these crimes against children are predators.  The behavior doesn’t stop.

Over the years, I have managed to compile quite a list of people who are aware of the behavior, or who have been sexually involved, with my husband‘s ex.  Believe it or not, I haven’t had to dig for this to happen.  People just talk.  Due to my profession, I am out in the community almost every day meeting and interacting with people.  It usually starts with the statement, “Are you related to … ?” to which thank God I can answer NO.  It is then followed by the “do you know…?” stories and comments.  I will never forget the time my husband and I walked in and sat down with a banker who happened to be one of my husband’s former students.  Apparently, this guy was often at the home of my husband and the ex.  Right there in the middle of the bank he says to my husband, “Just so there are no misunderstandings, I want you to know that I was never involved with your ex-wife.”  OMG!  I wanted to die right there on the spot!  This has happened too many times to count.  I just write it all down, add it to my file, and send it off for safe keeping.  You may think all this information is welcome.  It isn’t really.  I am long sick of hearing about all the disgusting things that have gone on.  It is embarrassing to me that I have any connection at all to a person such as this.

You see, this is what I find so disturbing.  That so many people can come to me with stories and names, yet nothing has been done.  And it has gone on for years.  So many lives affected.  So much damage done.  It is way past time for all of this to come out in the open.  The children are older now and have heard the rumors at school first-hand.  Can you even imagine how devastating that must be?  We have done our best to shield them and give them a safe place to come and share their feelings.  As they grow older, they begin to understand what has gone on in their home.

Here is my plea:  Please don’t contribute to harm done by predators.  If you know the “dirty little secrets” then share them loudly and persistently with someone who can effect change.  Will it be easy?  NO.  Will you experience adversity for standing up for what’s right?  YES.  Is it worth the headache, the heartache, the frustration?  ABSOLUTELY.  Your only other option is turn your head and allow the behavior to continue.  How can you possibly sleep at night if that is you?  Please, air the dirty laundry.  Get it out there for everyone to see.  It’s the only way we can make a difference and hold these people accountable for their crimes against children.

Websters dictionary describes justice in this way:

1

a: the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments b: judge c: the administration of law; especially: the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity

2

a: the quality of being just, impartial, or fair b (1): the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action (2): conformity to this principle or ideal : righteousness c: the quality of conforming to law

3: conformity to truth, fact, or reason : correctness 

The best fit for my personal definition of justice is number three.  Conformity to truth, fact or reason seems like common sense to me.  Correctness a must.  But how often do we see TRUE justice?

This is a topic that is often on my mind, but more so ever since this past weekend.  On Saturday, my husband and I drove south to visit my daughter.  She was transferred a few months ago to this minimum security facility which is a little over three hours from home.  My husband and I enjoy our time together and road trips are no exception.  Sometimes we have great discussions.  Other times, we just enjoy the quiet and the nearness of each other.

On this particular drive down the mountain, I caught up on reading information related to the release of the West Memphis 3.  The more information I read, the more questions I had.  How did these boys end up in jail in the first place?  Why wasn’t there more investigation into family members?  And now years later, when they have proven that there is no DNA evidence to connect them to the crime, why do they have to take a guilty plea to be released?  I didn’t live in Arkansas when all this happened, but my husband did.  From his point of view, he said it was a “witch hunt.”  I don’t see justice here.  And what about those three little boys that were horribly murdered?  Where is their justice?  Someone, or maybe even more than one, who brutally assaulted and murdered three little boys, has walked around in society for almost twenty years.  Free as a bird.  Most likely has been around other children.  There is certainly no justice in that.

As we sit in the prison visiting area, we often talk about what people have done, how much time they have served, how much time they have left.  Everybody has a story.  Sometimes, I understand.  Most of the time, I don’t.  So many women locked up.  Most of them on some type of drug charge, many of them because they were involved with the wrong people, making the wrong choices from simply not knowing any better.   Is it really justice to lock these women up in prison right off the bat?  Many need rehab, many could serve time in local county jails closer to their families where they could see and maintain some type of contact with their children.  Yes, I believe some people truly belong in prison.  But I also believe it should be the punishment of last resort for many crimes.  Specifically, non-violent offenses.

I have watched the joy experienced as mothers are reunited with their children.  I have also watched the anguish as those children are torn from their mothers arms at the end of visitation.  I have heard the guttural sobs associated with this separation.  You cry too.  You can’t avoid hearing the heartbreak.  I don’t believe we are doing our future generations any service by not getting to the root the problem.  For them, this is not justice.  People are not disposable, yet perhaps it will seem that way to them.

Then, there are the people that walk around every day, never convicted of any crime, that have done and continue to do harm to humanity.  They are a curse to society.  Clever enough to not get caught, or lie their way out when they do.  Many times it comes down to who has the shadiest lawyer, who is the best liar.  None of that is justice.

So how do we go about getting things changed?  I don’t know all the answers, but I do know this, we can all do something.  However small, an act in the interest of truth goes a long way.  In our case, I don’t know why or how all of this hasn’t come out before now, but I know it will.  A friend commented the other day that all of this is so much a part of me.  Yes, it is.  How can it not be?  Look at all the wrongs that have happened (just that we KNOW about), all the damage that has been done to my personal property, the stress on my children and my stepchildren, the attacks on my marriage, the incredible financial hardship over the years.  You damn right it’s part of me.  And I intend to see that justice is done.

What kind of person would I be if I didn’t see this through to the end?  Isn’t it our duty as members of society to value the truth and bring it to the light?  Whether it be a hugely sensational case such as WM3 or simply a teacher having sex with students who continues to make a mockery of our family court system, none of it is right.  People need to get involved.  There needs to be justice.  You never know when it could be you who needs it.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”Martin Luther King Jr.

Recently, I made a trip to my local big box hardware store.  The service was terrible.  The help anything but helpful.  As I stood at checkout I was voicing my thoughts to the woman cashier.  She quickly changed the conversation to the paint I was purchasing, telling me that the blue and the orange represented the colors of her son’s school.  Really? I asked, my son too.  Maybe our sons know each other she says.  Her son, she tells me, is a football player.  My son, I say, has autism and is in a special education classroom.

As we continue to chat, she tells me what a heart her son has for people with special needs.  She is proud of him.  This is all wonderful from my perspective.  I have loved people with special needs long before I had my son.  To hear of a teenage boy with this in his heart brought me joy.  What she said to me next made me angry and sick all at the same time.  She told me that her son had learned about people with special needs from what happened to his cousin, her nephew.   It seems that the young man (the nephew) had done something deemed a punishable offense in our local high school, during the last year before it split into two schools.  One of his teachers thought the appropriate “punishment” was for this young man to eat lunch for two weeks with the special education students.

My legs began to shake with anger, and my mouth – which usually has no trouble spitting out words – was suddenly silent.  What do you say in response to that?  Dumbfounded, I asked her to repeat what she had just said to me.  Unfortunately, I heard her right the first time.

What is it with people?  Why do so many of us fear and despise that which is different from us?  Or that which we don’t understand?  In the instance of people with disabilities, it seems especially heartless to me.  Maybe that’s because of my son.  I don’t know.  I have been around people with special needs most of my life.  The first special needs person I remember interacting with was a girl my age named Linda, when I was in second grade.  Linda had Downs Syndrome and was severely affected.  When I was finished with my classwork, I was allowed to go down to her classroom.  I guess it was a sort of “buddy system” and I think we both benefited from our time together.

Different is not bad.  It should be welcomed and encouraged.  Whether it be intellectual ability, race, religion, whatever.  Why would any school system continue to employ a so called “teacher” who would see the above behavior as appropriate?  Ah, I guess for the same reason they continue to employ a teacher known for having sex with students.  We wonder why society has the flaws it has and where our morals have gone.  What can we expect when this is the type of example we have as role models in our schools?  What can we expect when administrators know and refuse to do anything about it?  And let’s not forget the parents.  Shame on them for knowing what goes on in these schools and not doing anything about it.  If more people would speak up and come forward with what they know and have seen, change would be forced.

I do not know the name of the teacher who issued the above “punishment.”  But  I do believe in karma.  I do believe that when we choose to victimize others that comes back on us with incredible tenacity.  To the credit of the young man who was forced to sit with the special ed kids, he chose to remain with them.  I am told that for the rest of the year he ate his lunch with them.  Hopefully he continues to share his experience in a positive light.