Abusive Teacher’s Last Pass

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Have you heard the term ‘Pass the Trash?’ I know of the practice, I didn’t know there was a name for it. In a nutshell, you have an employee whose work performance is substandard for whatever reason, they’re given the choice to resign or be fired. If they resign, their substandard job performance is withheld when the next employer checks references – due to ‘confidentiality’ requirements.

I remember we were told when a potential employer called for references we could respond with a “no” to the question, “Would you hire X again?” but could say nothing else as to why not.

BLOG POST #155: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a first-grade school teacher.

Résumé Of Abuse Begins

Sept. 1998- June 2010: Employed as a first-grade teacher with school #1.

2005: Administrators in school #1 learn the teacher has engaged in inappropriate physical contact with young female students.

Female students were encouraged to sit on his lap; touch his legs, thighs, and buttocks. He kissed them and allowed them to kiss him. He threatened that if they told anyone they would get into trouble, he would not like them anymore or hold their hands.

All Talk – No Action

His supervisors gave him several warnings that his conduct was inappropriate. He justified his actions by saying he was an affectionate person.

2008: The principal gave a stern warning that the inappropriate conduct must stop.

2009: The principal entered the classroom and saw three young girls seated on their teacher’s lap.

Staff members reported the teacher’s behavior. Parents filed complaints about inappropriate conduct with their children.

You’re On Your Own

The principal notified the state’s Department of Children and Families, Division of Youth and Family Services (DCF). The DCF conducted an investigation and concluded no action was required. Case closed.

Based on the many complaints and warnings, the principal issued a letter of reprimand to the teacher and recommended an increment of his salary be withheld for the school year 2009-2010.

2010: Parent complaints poured in. And a parent filed a report with the DCF. The DCF conducted another investigation and concluded the allegations were unfounded. Case closed.

Follow-Through

2010: School #1 suspended the teacher with pay and began an investigation.

During the investigation, one parent reported the teacher regularly held his daughter’s hand, picked her up to hug her, and sent her text messages even after he asked the teacher to stop.

One of his students had first-hand knowledge of a room in the teacher’s home that was decorated to please children and had a shelf filled with toys.

Pass The Trash

2010: School #1 and the first-grade teacher entered into an Agreement and Release. In exchange for his resignation, School #1 agreed to withhold all information regarding his employment other than positions and years of service.

The Agreement also provided that because charges were not filed, School #1 was not required to report his conduct to the state teaching certificate division.

2010: The teacher began working for School #2. Within the first month with School #2, they received numerous parental complaints about the teacher’s conduct at School #1. School #2 allowed the teacher to continue working there.

You Can’t Hide

2013: The teacher was indicted for sexually abusing and endangering several young female students at School #1 between the years of 2005-2008, and one teen at a school where he worked as an assistant coach in 1997. His teaching certificate was suspended.

2016: The teacher pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault and three counts of sexual assault. The court sentenced him to 14 years in state prison. He was 42 when he entered the prison, on his scheduled release date in 2025, he’ll be 50.

The Superior Court Judge admonished both schools for their mishandling of the teacher with a history of molesting female students.

He said, “How could ‘they’ fail to report this conduct and simply pass this pedophile along.”

He also said, “These school administrators are rarely penalized for failing to report these pedophiles. But that I could only have those people before me.”

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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