Posts Tagged ‘teachers having sex with students’

Bet you didn’t sleep well last night. Bet you’re nervous today. Bet you’re scouring the internet and reading all the comments posted under the local news stories, searching social media about the latest local teacher accused of sexual assault, wanting desperately to find what I have written. You know I AM writing about it…you know I AM writing about you.

Every time one of these cases makes the news I think immediately of you. How can I not? I wonder how is it you have gotten away with sexually abusing students for over 20 (yes, TWENTY!) years? There are so many questions…

Over fifteen years ago I found out you had a history of having sex with students. Not “a” student, although that would have been bad enough…but many, many students. Your family – your husband at the time, and your small children – were literally run out of the town where it all began with threats of violence due to your behavior. You seem to have no boundaries in telling the kids things, have you told them you were run out of town? Seems even backwoods, “country folk” as you once referred to one of the boys, don’t appreciate their young sons being preyed on by a school teacher. Maybe it was because some of them were smart enough to figure out that one of your pregnancies was due to your affairs with high school boys. People talk. Seems with you there was plenty to talk about.

Tell me, do YOU know which one of the students fathered the child that you fraudulently passed off as your husband’s for TEN years? My guess is yes, based on the information that the State Police discovered, but I’d like to see you have backbone enough to admit it. Does the boy that fathered this child know he has a daughter? Honestly, I am surprised you didn’t try to sue him for child support. I have no doubt you would have done so, if you thought you could have done it and kept your teaching certificate. Do the kids know who the father of their sibling is? Does your current husband know who the father is and how old the kid was at the time of conception? Bet you concocted a dandy story to cover it up.

You moved to this school district, but the behavior continued. You’ve been here for many years now. This is not a big area. And again, people talk. What I wonder every time one of these cases pops up is, WHEN will you be caught? Not when will you be found out, because everyone knows…the Superintendent, the School Board, fellow teachers and staff…students…parents…your children. When will you be held accountable for all the crimes you have committed against students? Multiple counts of sex acts, stalking, harassing, just to name a few. All felonies. All crimes against children entrusted to your care and authority. How do you manage to stay employed as a teacher? How have you managed to never be arrested? It amazes me. And let’s not forget the paternity fraud you committed and parental alienation you have fostered.

What kind of a stories have you spun over the years that allow your children to even be in the same room with you? They are adults now. They’re old enough to know what it meant having all those high school boys coming in and out of the house, going up to “Mom’s” room. They know what people were talking about in school. They know why the neighbors were talking. I am relieved that they are all out of school now. I used to worry about what would happen if you were arrested while they were in school. Clearly I worried in vain. This school district certainly doesn’t have the balls to fire you.

Eventually, I believe justice will be served. You cannot hide what you have done. There are too many victims. Too many people know. Sooner or later, it will catch up to you. Karma. Reaping what you sow. What goes around comes around and one of these days it will find you. In the meanwhile, you will live your life constantly looking over your shoulder, wondering when that day will come.

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The jealous “new” wife.  That’s how my husband’s ex-wife liked to portray me in the beginning of my marriage to anyone who would listen.  I always found this interesting given the truth of the relationship between her and my husband.  There was no love lost on his part.  He made it very clear to me from our first meeting that his relationship with her centered around the children.  They had married due to pregnancy and he had stayed married to her for the sake of his children.  My husband is a man who honors his responsibilities.  One of the many things I admire about him.

When my husband and I started dating and the ex didn’t consider me a threat, she was happy to have my involvement with the children.  I would include my husband and his kids on outings I had planned for my own children.  We hiked, we picnicked, we picked apples.  They were often at my home for dinners. They would literally fight to spend time with me.  As the relationship between my husband and I grew, we spent more and more time together.  And the ex was more than happy to hand the kids over to him anytime he could take them.  He had them much of the time.

In all honesty, I have no idea when she began to see me as a threat.  That first Summer my husband and I were together, at some point a letter was sent to the public school administration talking about the ex’s sexual relationships with students.  She seemed to think either think that my husband had something to do with that letter, or she was upset that he wasn’t helping her defend herself against the allegations, but she went on the defensive.  Probably typical behavior for someone who has so much to hide.  Perhaps she was nervous because I had been in the picture longer than she expected.  Maybe she had come to dislike her children going home and telling her how much fun they had with us.  Maybe it was my husband confronting her about having the teenage boy she was involved with at the time constantly at her home.  At one point, hiding upstairs in her bedroom when he came to pick up the children so he wouldn’t know he was there.  Nonetheless, I became the bad guy.

By Fall, when my husband and I decided to marry, things had deteriorated to the point that when making our wedding plans, we had to keep them secret from the children just to be certain they would be able to attend.  We made sure to arrange for our ceremony to take place on mid-week visitation here at our home.  If we hadn’t, she would have never allowed them to attend.  The next weekend visitation after our marriage, when my husband returned the children to her home, she had left a long, handwritten letter for him.  In short, expressing her love and devotion to him.  Stating that she had loved him deeply for “the past nine years” and explaining how she had hoped that they would reunite.  My husband sat and read the letter in disbelief at her gall.  After her repeated infidelities during their marriage with various men, not to mention numerous high school boys, she saw herself as devoted?  After all she had put him through – the embarrassment at schools where he had coached, the suspicion that not all of his children were biologically his – did she truly believe he would EVER live under the same roof as her again?  Trust me, there was no jealousy to worry about here.

Less than a year after we wed, there was an incident between the ex and one of the high school boys with whom she was physically and emotionally involved.  He broke into her home and physically assaulted her.  Fearing for the safety of his children, my husband immediately filed for temporary custody, which he was granted.  He would ultimately be granted full custody.  Perhaps it is around this time that I started to hear that I was the “jealous” wife.  After all, she needed someone to pin it on, right?  She had been caught.  Again.  And I wasn’t afraid to speak up.  She needed me to be the villain in her story.

Looking back, it still dumbfounds me that she tried to sell ME as the jealous one.  For all I know maybe she still does.  In actuality, she and I couldn’t be more different from one another.  Without being catty, I will say that we are as different physically as we could be.  There are no similarities in our height, weight, body shape, hair color, etc.  None.  Zero.  Thank God.  (Okay, maybe that’s a bit catty, but it’s the truth!)  We are not similar in accomplishments or interests.  We clearly have a very different moral code.

For years, she has tried to emulate me.  I bought the kids guinea pigs as pets, she couldn’t find guinea pigs so she bought rabbits.  I cut my naturally curly hair to should length, she shows up with her hair cut shoulder length and permed.  I bought a jeep, she bought a jeep.  I taught the girls to crochet, she tried learning to crochet/knit.  I like to cook from scratch, she would call my husband and tell him I was making fun of her cooking.  For the record, I never made fun of her cooking.  I had no idea whether she could cook, nor did I give a damn.  Still don’t.  I do what I do because I enjoy it.  I could go on and on with examples from over the years.  She does what she does because she feels inferior and weak.  In her mind, she must compete with me.

In all of almost 15 years, this woman has never had the courage to pick up the phone to have a conversation with me on something she “thought” I said or did.  She has never had the balls to write me an email.  She has never once confronted me for trying to get her fired as a teacher.  She cannot speak to me for fear of being hit in the face with the truth.  When I see her in person, she cannot look me in the eye.  She has spent years using her children against me and doing her best to destroy my marriage.  Jealousy.  It’s her answer to everything.  But you tell me, who is really the jealous one?

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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.

I remember the day my daughter told me about a teacher at school who was having sex with students like it was yesterday.  We were in our kitchen.  Standing in front of the dishwasher in fact.  The next thing out of her mouth shocked me, and angered me – at her.  She said “and everybody knows about it.”

“EVERYBODY knows about it?  I don’t believe that”, I challenge.  “Other students maybe… but EVERYBODY…meaning other teachers, school administrators, parents even???”  My mind could not comprehend that and my heart would not accept it.  “Absolutely NOT!” I scolded her.  “I don’t believe that for a minute.  And YOU better be careful what you say.”  That was 10 years ago.  My daughter was correct.  This teacher was indeed having sex with students.  Plural.  It was, and still is, shocking to me.

Over the years I have learned a lot about the teachers who exhibit this behavior.  These people are almost always predators.  You will find the occassional teacher who considers themselves “in love” with their victim.  The male teachers are almost without exception punished much more severely than the women.  There are still so many stereotypes about “boys being boys” that it can be difficult to prosecute the female offenders.  Studies show the long-term psychological effects of young men being victimized in this manner are just as damaging to them, sometimes more so, as to young women.  (Read http://www.sesamenet.org/male_vics.html for more information on male victims.  S.E.S.A.M.E – Stop Educators Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation www.sesamenet.org is in my opinion, one of the best organizations today working to bring attention to educator abuse.)

Let’s jump back to the case of the teacher I reference above.   She has a history of this behavior going back to when she began her student teaching.  She still teaches today.  The school district she now teaches at is well aware of her history.  THAT is what was and still is most shocking, upsetting and disappointing to me.  They not only didn’t fire this woman, in actuality, they protected her.

Sadly again, what I have learned over the years is that schools protecting these teachers is common practice.  This is quite appropriately called “Passing the trash.”  (Check out http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/-passing-the-trash-in-public-schools-117893284.html)  Schools will approach a teacher known or suspected of being inappropriately involved with students and discretely ask them to leave the district.  In exchange, the district gives a good recommendation to the next district about the teacher.  Laws are changing but depending on which state you live in, they vary greatly.

My daughter wasn’t sexually abused at school, but she was harassed, intimidated, threatened.   She didn’t deserve that.  She was telling the truth.  How many more kids are there like my daughter?  Kids who speak up about a serious issue, only to be shot down.  My daughter didn’t give up until she had given me enough proof, enough stories that could be collaborated, enough names, that I believed her.  We fought a good fight, for a long while, to get things changed.  We didn’t win the battle.  We tried hard, but came up short.  But I promise you this, in spite of losing a few battles, in the end, we WILL win the war.

My husband married a woman he met in Wal-Mart.  (I have always thought that to be SO appropriate.)  She began the relationship by prank-calling him repeatedly.  After a few days they met.  One thing leads to another, and the Wal-Mart special becomes pregnant.  Claiming it is his.  My husband, being the boy scout and raised to do the “right thing” married this woman.  Needless to say, it was a train wreck of epic proportions.  After supporting her through college and the birth of four children, they divorce.

I met my wonderful husband in 2000.  After much pestering from my daughter about her Science Teacher.  She seemed to think we would hit it off.  Me, well, let’s just say I was less than enthusiastic about meeting ANY man.  I had a high-level corporate job, single Mom with two kids – one of whom had autism.  She caught me at a week point.  Next thing I know it’s coffee, then a date, and then we’re inseparable.  Crazy.  It all happened so fast.

To top it off, he came with four kids.  I’m thinking, okay, I like kids.  I did my research too.  Had friends check out him and the ex wife.  Checked into the relationship.  No worries.  There was no love lost.  I was told he had no time for her. The whole relationship from his side it seemed was based on the health and welfare of the children.   She was described to me as a “total ditz.”  This I was told came from another High School teacher.  There were rumors.  I couldn’t believe they could possibly be true.  (Maybe I just had my head in the sand.)

It really didn’t matter because it wasn’t long before I’m head over heals in love.  I married my wonderful husband in November of 2000.  The rest is history.

Why am I telling you this?  Because as we go forward into what has happened in the past 10 years, this will be helpful.  Believe me, truth REALLY is stranger than fiction.