There’s nothing like a school’s stupidity to screw up a young girl’s life.
You may not remember Alexa Gonzalez, but back in 2010 she was arrested for doodling on a desk at Junior High School 190 in Forest Hills, NY. The school had a zero tolerance policy on graffiti, and it deemed her writing on a desk in erasable marker as violating that policy. She was searched, handcuffed and taken to a the police station across the street by four New York City police officers.
On this week’s episode of 20/20 it was al about school scandals. Britini Colleps and her escapades with five students was featured, but by far the more interesting update was on Alexa Gonzalez. Now 15, Gonzalez ended up suing the school over her 2010 arrest and settled out of court for an undisclosed six figure sum.
Sounds like all ended well for her, doesn’t it?
Sadly, that’s not the case. It seems that the one thing that couldn’t be taken care of was the arrest remaining on her record. She was indeed “guilty,” so her heinous act of doodling that she loved her best friends on a desk – again, in erasable marker – has left her with a record. I would assume it will be expunged when she turns 18, but for now, this sits there, haunting her, and who knows what it could do to her job and college prospects.
As I stated in the original report, what has happened to common sense? Okay, she violated the graffiti policy, but how about detention or something else for such a minor infraction? Oh no, have her arrested and screw up her life for years. That’s a perfect solution!
As criticism of her presence has escalated, Ms. Grey has issued a statement:
I am proud to have participated in the “Read Across America” program at Emerson Elementary School in Compton, CA. I read “Dog Breath” by Dav Pilkey to the sweetest 1st and 3rd grade children.
“Read Across America” is a program that was designed to promote literacy and instill a lifelong love of reading in elementary school students. Promoting education is an effort that is close to my heart. Illiteracy contributes to poverty; encouraging children to pick up a book is fundamental.
I believe education is a universal right. I committed to this program with the understanding that people would have their own opinions about what I have done, who I am and what I represent.
I am an actor. I am an artist. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a partner. I have a past that some people may not agree with, but it does not define who I am.
I will not live in fear of it. To challenge non-profit education programs is an exercise in futility, counter-productive and anti-educational.
I cannot thank my fans and ‘Read Across America’ enough for supporting my decision. Your support and kind words continue to inspire me. I believe in the future of our children, and I will remain an active supporter and participant in education-focused initiatives.
As anyone who knows me, or reads this blog for more than a day or two can tell you, I have zero tolerance for child molestation, teacher-student sex scandals or anyone that preys on children in any way. Ms. Grey does not fall into any of these categories. She has not been involved in the porn industry for two years now and has moved into mainstream acting amongst other projects.
Essentially I can’t see the issue here. She volunteered her time to read to children who are far too young to have any clue who she is. She did not come dressed in any provocative manner – judging by the photos that surfaced of her in the classroom – , she did not speak of her past according to reports and she certainly did not advocate it as a career path.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually do understand the parental concern here, and the school certainly messed up denying she was there when there was evidence to the contrary, but I have never understood condemning people who have engaged in legal activities and then aren’t even involved in those activities any more, never being able to move on from that. I’ve seen similar stories over the years where it is discovered a teacher used to be a stripper years before and they are asked to leave their job or just flat out get fired. If they are doing their job, and are not in any way involved in that activity at the present time, what the heck does that matter? This is far more about the hang-ups of parants than the possible harm to the children.
As someone who has talked time and time again about protecting children, I just don’t see the issue here. Our schools need more volunteers, and if you start cutting off folks from doing that due to their pasts, you’re going to find some very empty schools.
A Georgia teacher has been charged with numerous counts in regards to a sexual relationship she had with one of her teenage students.
Amy Bass Jackson, 35, was arrested last week after an investigation by the police into allegations made by the parents of one of her 14-year-old male students. She was accused of having sex with the boy, and after a week long investigation she was charged with aggravated child molestation, three counts of child molestation, statutory rape, enticing a child for indecent purposes, sexual assault by a person with supervisory or disciplinary authority, two counts computer or electronic child exploitation, sexual exploitation of children and six counts of furnishing harmful material to minors according to CoastalCourier. She was arrested last Wednesday, but Ms. Jackson resigned her position as a language arts teacher at William James Middle School as soon as the investigation began.
As per the usual trend these days with teacher sex scandals, Ms. Jackson apparently used social networks and cell phones to communicate with the unnamed victim. The Bulloch County Board of Education has already stated that they will be reviewing the incident and possibly enacting new rules governing what contact teachers may have with students through various electronic means.
While there has been no mention yet of what evidence there is against Ms. Bass exactly, the number of different charges, and the mentioning of social networks and cell phones suggests there must be some evidence, but that is pure speculation on my part. As with all of these cases, though, one has to wonder how things get to this point. Is there nothing in these teacher’s minds that could potentially tell them what they are doing is wrong? One has to wonder.
Barbara Anderson, a 37-year-old math teacher at Kentlake High School in Kent, WA has been charged with first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor.
Anderson was arrested in late March after it was discovered that the 17-year-old student she was allegedly involved with had told his uncle that he was having sex with a teacher. Once brought to the attention of the police the investigation discovered that the student had gone to Anderson after transferring into her math class for additional help. As time wore on he told her of his personal problems and she eventually gave him her cell number so that the could communicate privately.
Court documents report that the two became friendlier over a social network (which was named, but, yeah, I’m sure we can all figure out which one it was), and also began heavily texting one another. The teen’s mother said that between Jan. 25th and Feb. 21st the pair sent over 800 text messages to one another. There is evidence of at least one meeting between the two in the boy’s car where sexual acts were performed, and Anderson that asking via text when they could meet up to do it again.
According to The Seattle Times, the student was suspended from school on Feb. 4th due to a fighting, and a teary-eyed Anderson supposedly asked school administrators to reconsider their decision. Four days later Anderson attempted to talk to the parents about the student texting her about his problems, this caused the mother to get suspicious and look into the cellphone account to find the copious amount of texts between the two. This was when the uncle told the boy’s mother of what he had bragged about and that is when she went to the police.
The age of sexual consent in Washington state is actually 16-years-old except in the case of the adult being a teacher or in a position of power over the teen, and then that age increases to 18. Anderson is currently on paid leave and has plead “not guilty” in her first hearing.
And here we have our third entry in the 2011 teacher sex scandals category for this year. Sadly I can tell you I am skipping a lot of the ones that I see simply due to disgust at times, there is certainly no slow down in the number of instances out there.
Back in Dec. 2009 I wrote up the story of Alini Brito and Cindy Mauro and how they had been discovered in a vacant classroom at James Madison High School by a janitor in what he described as an act of lesbian sex.
While both women denied the allegations, the school board found them guilty and let both of them go.
Normally this would be the end of the story, but it appears that Brito is suing the school for wrongful termination, and she’s demanding her job back. The reason? Mauro was doing nothing more than helping her with a diabetic attack.
WCBS and The New York Daily News have reported on the lawsuit filing, and it appears that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Brito had begun feeling ill during a school assembly, and Mauro offered her some candy that she had back in her classroom. When the two got back to the room, Brito took to feeling worse, and asked to lay down on the floor. She took off her sweater so that Mauro could place it under her head, and then her feet were placed up on a chair to help with her circulation.
It was sometime around this point when the janitor happened upon them and found Brito naked from the waist up and Mauro between her legs.
This has all been explained now by it all appearing to have only allegedly been a misunderstanding, and was nothing more than a case of one teacher helping another with a diabetic attack.
My issue with Brito, however, is two-fold. I’ve known some diabetics in my life, and not one of them ever said to me, “I need to get these clothes off” (yes, perhaps a pillow, but still … eh) and neither did any of them say they needed to get their legs up for circulation. True, everyone is different, but that still seems a tad odd to me.
Secondly, the school board had an investigation of the incident, and they found you both guilty. I understand they aren’t a court of law, but there was obviously something to the charges for them to terminate you both. Have you somehow miraculously just come up with new evidence that you somehow did not share with the school when it first mattered? That’s … odd.
Again, nothing has been proven as of yet, and this is just a whole lot of allegations flying around, but something definitely does not make sense to me in all of this.
At least they didn’t involve any of the students if something really did happen between them.
An ex-Indiana teacher has been charged with two counts of felony child seduction involving a female student.
Mandy Jared, 33, was charged with two counts of child seduction, considered class D felonies, last week following allegations that were leveled against her last Dec. Apparently a 17-year-old student told another teacher at Zionsville Community High School that she and Ms. Jared, the school’s art teacher, had engaged in sexual activity on four occasions, two of which happened in the school’s dark room.
The second teacher informed the school principal on Dec. 9th, 2010 of the allegations, and Ms. Jared immediately resigned from the school where she had been teaching since 2002.
It is unknown why Ms. Jared was only charged with the two counts that happened on school property, when the reports indicate there were four separate incidents between her and the student. Jared surrendered to the Boone County Jail on Tuesday, and is expected back in court on Feb. 22nd to have the charges read against her.
And here we have our second entry in the 2011 teacher sex scandals category in as many months. Sadly this isn’t an auspicious start to the year, and I’m sure there will be more of these as the year chugs along.
A Chicago-area teacher has been accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student.
Ashley Blumenshine, 27, a physical education teacher at Plainfield North High School in Illinois, was discovered on Jan. 5th in a car with a 16-year-old male student in the parking lot of a Kohls store. Police noticed two suspicious cars sitting at the far end of the parking lot behind the store, and upon pulling up they discovered one car was empty while the other had two occupants; Ms. Blumenshine was in the driver’s seat of the second car while the unidentified student was in the back seat. Upon questioning, both admitted to having engaged in sexual intercourse before the arrival of the police. Blumenshine was arrested on a charge of criminal sexual abuse, and released the following day on $75,000 bond with an order to have no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Since the time of the incident, Ms. Blumenshine has tendered her resignation to the 202 consolidated school district, which they have accepted, and the school where she has taught since 2006 is also moving to have her teaching certificate revoked.
Sadly, we’re sure this will be the first of many teacher sex scandals this year. I’ve tried to cut back some on how many of these I write up just because they’re so depressing when you really think about it. I looked it up, and my 2010 teacher sex scandals had only 11 posts as opposed to the 2009 teacher sex scandals having 24. This isn’t to say there were less incidents, I simply tried to pay less attention to them.
Here’s hoping 2011 will have fewer of these stories to come across my news feeds, but I somehow doubt that will happen.
It’s sad that it has come to this, but I guess it’s a sign of the times.
According to ReadWriteWeb, the Virginia Board of Education will vote this weke on establishing guidelines for teacher contact with students outside of the classroom. The policy, if adopted, will cover text messaging, social networking and online game contact between teachers and students, and essentially ban all of this. This is in response to the 120 actions the state has taken against education employees since 2000 for sexual misconduct.
The rules will include:
Under most circumstances, Teachers and other school board employees must restrict one-on-one electronic communications with individual students to accounts, systems and platforms provided by or accessible to the school division.
Teachers and other employees may not use personal wireless communications devices to “text” students and are prohibited from interacting one-on-one with students through personal online social-networking sites. Teachers and other school board employees must decline or disregard invitations from students to interact privately through texting and personal social-networking sites.
If, because of an urgent or emergency circumstance, a teacher or other school board employee uses a personal communications device or account to contact an individual student, the date, time, and nature of the contact must be reported in writing to his or her supervisor on the next school day.
Teachers and other school board employees may not knowingly engage in online gaming unrelated to instruction with students.
School board policy on electronic communications with students also applies to teachers and other employees of virtual school programs and other vendors providing instructional services to students.
Apparently some teachers are arguing against it, saying that electronic communication shouldn’t be singled out, and that teachers should conduct themselves professionally at all times.
Well, yes, they should, but the unfortunate truth of the matter is, they don’t. Electronic communication is being singled out because it is what comes up time and time again in cases such as this, and that is just the sad truth of the matter.
Unfortunately this is where we are in this day and age. As you have seen me write time and time again about teacher sex scandals, the problem seems to be on the rise, so it’s about time someone took a preemptive strike against these sorts of activities from teachers. Yes, it is unfortunate that contact between faculty and students has to be treated this way, but it is what it is.
If teachers topped getting involved with their students, than we wouldn’t need these rules, now would we?
Did Jimmy do something good at home last night? Maybe did the dishes without being reminded? Cleaned his room? Perhaps you would like to reward him with a fun sized candy bar in his lunch for school.
Forget it if you live in St. Paul, MN.
According to The Star Ledger, the St. Paul school district has declared its schools to be “sweet-free zones”, and no candy or sweets of any kind will be allowed on school premises. This includes bringing anything in for a child’s birthday party, throwing a candy in a kid’s school lunch and selling anything for fundraisers.
In other words, the St. Paul school district has decided to take decision making out of the parent’s hands.
The decision was made four years ago based on the recommendation of a panel of parents, teachers, school nurses and administrators. The ban is only going into effect this year due to several changes in school administration, but by the end of this school year the ban will be completely in place. This is being driven by recently hired superintendent Valeria Silva who was shocked to learn that 40 percent of the fourth graders in the school district are considered to be obese.
Jill Gebeke, principal at Chelsea Heights Elementary, told the newspaper, “We have these kids for 6 1/2 hours a day. We want to put this message front and center.”
I’m sorry, but have you ever met children?
These kids have just been told that something is forbidden to them, that is going to make them even more interested in it. How many convenience stores do they pass on the way home? How much candy is in their homes? Are you also teaching them about the perils of fast food? No, instead you are telling these kids, “We know what’s good for you more than your parents do, and so what we say goes.” You aren’t teaching them a thing, you are simply taking over something you should have absolutely no say in.
I can understand the removal of sweets being sold by a school, even if I feel the way it has happened is heavy handed, but having any sort of a say in what a parent deems as appropriate for their child is just beyond the pale. You have absolutely no say in what a parent sends for their child to eat, and to think otherwise is is insane.
There is a point where this nanny state malarkey has to come to an end. Government has no right to dictate in how we conduct our private lives. Unless a child is showing signs of abuse, the school should have absolutely no say in how a parent decides to raise their child. Period.
Whenever I see governments getting into “Nanny State” mode, it gets under my skin. Whether it be banning Happy Meal toys, or putting a tax on slicing a bagel, it’s just silly, and something they shouldn’t be involved in. That being said, the latest move by the federal government may be the most asinine example I’ve seen yet.
New legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress this week that is now on its way to President Obama for his signature, and he is definitely expected to sign it as it is something the First Lady, Michelle Obama, has fought for. Once signed, the Dept. of Agriculture will have one year to come up with new guidelines for school lunches, what is sold in vending machines on school property … and regulate how often bake sales can be held.
Yes, the U.S. government has decided it’s time to take down that staple of school fund raising, the bake sale.
All of this is being done in an effort to fight childhood obesity, which I agree is a growing concern in the United States, but is it something that actually needed to go to the level of federal legislation? While changing to leaner meat for school cafeteria hamburgers, and removing the worst foods out of school vending machines, are good ideas on the surface, it is not something the cash-strapped federal government should be concerning itself with.
The bake sale aspect is the part that really got me going. Sadly, the best source for this story is a report from The Associated Press, which I dare not quote because they will actually send a bill out to bloggers based on the number of words you quote. (apparently the AP has never heard of “fair use“.) It boils down to that items from a bake sale will no longer be allowed to be sold in the cafeteria, vending machines and limits will be put on the frequency of the use of baked goods in fundraisers.
Exact wording of the bill actually gives a presidential administration the right to ban bake sales altogether, but there have been indications that won’t be happening (for now).
As a former “band kid” that was around when we had to buy several hundred new uniforms, I can tell you that if it wasn’t for bake sales, we would have been sunk. The government is saying there are other means of raising funds out there, and it’s time to move away from the bake sale. What exactly would that be? Tell me another activity where a parent can donate their time to make something that is relatively cheap, donate it and then the people raising funds can sell it for what amounts to a silly amount of money. I’ll be waiting for your answer, but I won’t be holding my breath.
I can get behind fighting childhood obesity, it is a problem in this country, and I won’t even try to say differently, but this is not something the government needs to be involved in. Even setting aside the expenses to come up with these new rules, implementing, the costs of informing schools and so on, this is not the sort of activity the government needs to be involved in at all. These are local matters, and state government at best, and even then I feel like I’m being generous. Those two examples I gave at the outset of this article was local and state issues respectively, these sorts of matters never need to rise to the level of federal legislation … ever. This is not what the federal level is for, and it is over reaching at its finest.
Without having read the legislation myself, I wonder if they covered the very first loophole I thought of: “FREE Brownies … With $2 Donation”. Somehow I doubt it.
The U.S. government has much larger issues to deal with, and the idea that it is wasting valuable time, money and resources on fundraising bake sales is just simply appalling to me. If they want to make suggestions, that’s one thing, but to pass actual legislation? Are you out of your ever loving minds?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go meet a man in a trenchcoat out in the parking lot to buy some black market bake sale goods.
Perrin High School in Perrin, Texas learned recently that apparently a teacher can be a bit too accommodating to their students.
Kimme Woolf, 29, was a math teacher at Perrin High School up until she resigned on Oct. 26th when it was revealed she had sexual relations with two students, one aged 16 and the other 18. She turned herself over to authorities this week and was charged with two counts of improper relationship between a teacher and student and one count of sexual assault of a child under 17. All three charges our second-degree felonies in the state of Texas.
The story goes that the two students approached the math teacher in Oct. after hearing she had left her previous school after allegations arose of her fooling around with a student. The two teens asked the married teacher if she would like to fool around, but she sent them on to their next class. Apparently the teens continued to ask her and she finally relented.
All of the activity was discovered when the 18-year-old’s father spotted an unknown car outside the 16-year-olds house, and when it left after several hours he recognized Mrs. Woolf as a teacher at the high school. He informed the younger boy’s mother of what he saw, and after she found text messages on the boy’s phone that implied a sexual relationship, he confessed the teacher had brought him lunch when he stayed home sick from school, and the two had sex. The older boy then confessed to two occasions of the teacher performing oral sex on him when he was confronted.
The parents first talked with Mrs. Woolf directly demanding she resign as they didn’t want this public and having her husband possibly come after the boys. She promised she had resigned, but when it was revealed a few days later she hadn’t, the parents turned her into the school.
Mrs. Woolf was given time to turn herself into authorities, which she did within the allotted time, and was then released on $30,000 bond.
This is the third teacher sex scandal story from Texas that I’ve reported on just this week! The previous two were Jennifer Riojas from Forth Worth and Andrea Berbel from Houston. What in the world is going on in that state?
While I was reluctant to do a third story in a week (I am not a site that specializes in this news), I was just amazed at how this one came about. She gave in to what amounts to peer pressure? I mean, it’s bad enough the kids asked her (which, her previous school claims they have no record of allegations being filed against her), but the fact that she relented? What a clear thinking educator have informed the principal? Wouldn’t these kids have gotten a talking to? No, her solution was, “Oh, what the heck!”
Robert E. Lee High School in west Houston, TX has joined the ranks of supposed improper relations between faculty and students.
Andrea Berbel, 28, was arrested last Thursday on one count of an improper relationship with a student and two counts of sexual assault of a child. She was released on Friday on $30,000 bond.
The allegations are that she was seen by two students at the school with a 16-year-old male student that she was both hugging and kissing on the lips. The two students reported the incident to the staff of the school, which then in turn interviewed the student.
The unnamed student reported that Ms. Berbel began tutoring him in Nov. 2009, and that their relationship turned flirtatious. Over the 2009 winter break he invited her over to a friend’s house and they engaged in sexual intercourse. There was at least one more incident in Jan. 2010, but no other were admitted after that date.
ABC affiliate KTRK spoke with the boy’s mother who informed them that this happened 11 months ago, and she has since forgiven Berbel.
The school district has stated that she is no longer employed by them.
I’m sorry, but if they were kissing and hugging just last week, somehow I doubt that other activities ceased in Jan. of this year.