The Teacher On A Downward Spiral Of Addiction

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #109

When a school employee or other public service employee is arrested for illegal activities most people are disappointed and shocked. I know I continue to be saddened by the cases I research. If only there were a way to vet applicants so as to hire the very best.

Thank you for taking time from your busy life to read and learn about school news that often doesn’t make ‘the news.’

BLOG POST #112: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a high school special education teacher.

I’ve never known a heroin addict. After researching this case, I wondered…Was his drug use not noticeable?

And Then There Was One

A student found a syringe on the restroom floor. He gave the syringe to a teacher’s aide. The school notified local authorities and a criminal investigation ensued.

At the beginning of the investigation, there were three teachers under suspicion. It was when the  K-9 narcotics officer began searching the school and detected drugs in the teacher’s backpack that he became the single suspect.

He was in his mid-30s and taught special education at the high school level.

The Dog Knows

His backpack which was in the classroom, on the floor next to his desk.

Officers found in the backpack, 125 packets of heroin, syringes, pills, and other paraphernalia.

Under arrest and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, he never returned to the classroom.

The judge didn’t believe the personal use admission and said to the teacher, “That’s a tremendous amount of narcotics in your possession, in your classroom, in your bag, right by your desk.”

He denied selling narcotics but admitted to being a heroin addict and claimed all the heroin in his possession was for personal use.

Was The Sentence Appropriate?

There wasn’t enough evidence to prove distribution. The ex-teacher accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to third-degree possession of a controlled and dangerous substance.

The court sentenced no jail time; instead, he’ll serve four years of probation, 100 hours of community service and undergo regular drug testing.

Eight years after issuance, he relinquished his teaching certificates and began working in a hotel restaurant.

The judge commended the student who found the syringe as, “Bright and responsible.”

If you found this case interesting, you’ll also want to read a similar case: Chasing the Dragon

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT, an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

This School Teacher Sexually Abused More Than 50 Children

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #109

First, I want to apologize for the length of this post. To respect your time, I try to keep posts short. There was a lot of information on this case; I didn’t want to leave out any pertinent details. With that said, thank you for reading and caring about children.

BLOG POST #109: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving an American teacher, born and raised in New York, working at international schools which cater to the rich and super-rich.

The case referenced in this post deviates from my usual research of crimes taking place at or involving schools in the United States. Nonetheless, this case demonstrates how wily a pedophile can be.

Once A Pedophile Always A Pedophile?

When he was 19, he worked as a teacher’s aide in California. He was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious behavior for fondling the penises of boys as young as seven while teaching them to swim. He pleaded guilty. Released after serving 90 days in jail, he was placed on the sex offenders register and required to tell authorities when he moved.

Ten years later, without notifying the authorities, he left the country and began teaching children of U.S. workers in Saudi Arabia.

There are close to two hundred schools around the globe supported by the U.S. government to promote a U.S.-style education.

Every Child Is At Risk

Even when parents are rich and super-rich, their children can still become victims of child sexual abuse without the parents knowing what was happening. The pedophile, in this case, was that smooth.

He was said to be charming and popular. And married with two sons.

Following his wife, as she climbed the corporate ladder, he taught in several countries.

Don’t Drink The Kool-Aid

He taught English, world history, and coached boys’ basketball at the middle school level. When newly hired, the first thing he did was set up a travel club, whereby he took students on overnight hiking and camping trips.

For the children he’d chosen to abuse, he served them drug-laced Double Stuff Oreo cookies and water. To be certain the boys ate the entire cookie; he proposed a competition, the one who ate the cookies the fastest would be the first to pick a bed. What kid doesn’t love a cookie eating competition?

So as not to be caught, he also drugged the other chaperoning teacher. One teacher said in an interview, he brought her a beverage in a mug and insisted she drink it all. With the first sip, she tasted something odd. Still, she drank the beverage and remembered nothing until morning.

One student, who went on an overnight trip and ate the cookies, reported he woke the next morning feeling dazed. He noticed he had on different shorts and a friend was wearing his shorts.

Somebody Dropped The Ball

Occasionally, colleagues and parents mentioned concerns to principals. Rather than investigate, school administrators avoided the issue partly because his wife held a prominent role in the international school system and partly because school principals typically aren’t good people managers.

Without consequence, he sexually abused more than 50 children over a span of 40 years.

A Special Agent with the FBI said, “I have never seen another case where an individual may have molested this many children over such a long period of time.”

This criminal’s story may have ended differently had it not been for his housekeeper in Nicaragua who’d stolen his flash drives and turned them into the school. After seeing what was on the flash drives, the principal fired the teacher and alerted the authorities.

Before the FBI could issue a search warrant, the American teacher committed suicide.

Hear No Evil; See No Evil; Speak No Evil

When the FBI notified parents of their boys’ photos on the flash drives and of the probable molestation, many decided they didn’t want to know more or see the photos. They didn’t want their children to know what had happened, they just wanted ‘it’ to go away.

During the investigation it was determined if any of the international schools had done a criminal records check from the U.S., it would have been disclosed that he was a convicted child molester.

It is unknown if his wife knew he was a prolific pedophile or if he’d abused his sons.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in UNKNOWN THREAT

an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel

Available at Amazon

 

 

Fleecing of America

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #108Hello! You may or may not know I worked as a payroll accountant for a school district before I retired. I’m telling you this because one of the two people in this blog post was an accountant, whose business provided budgeting and bookkeeping services for the school district.

I semi-seriously used to say to a co-worker, the way the district spent the public’s money was a fleecing of America.

At my level, I saw areas where thievery was possible. Apparently, the two women in this post found weak places as well. And they took advantage of those weaknesses.

Thanks for taking the time to read my research and for becoming more aware of possible wrongdoing in schools.

BLOG POST #108: This week, I’m sharing research on two specific criminal cases involving an accountant and a school teacher.

It didn’t seem like a conflict of interest.

Mother was a contract accountant. Typically, contract accountants are responsible for everything from requests for proposals to payment. Not typical is an accountant who processes her check requests.

The daughter was a teacher in the same district where the mother’s business handled the accounting.

Like Minds Think Alike

After extravagantly spending school district money on travel, catered events, meetings in local hotels and artwork, the district was under state-controlled leadership at the same time the mother-daughter team bilked the district for more than $525,000.

A few years before the scam, the daughter set up a shell business for supplies such as writing activity kits, maps and globes, and booklets on multiplication, division, and active algebra.

For four years the mother paid invoices to the shell business. The schools received nothing; mother and daughter received money.

Their crime spree may have lasted a few more budget cycles had it not been for an accounts payable audit.

Criminal Minds: Where Are They Now?

Mother and daughter went to trial and were found guilty of program fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and tax charges.

U.S. Attorney said, “Anyone who considers defrauding our schools should take note that we are scrutinizing records and conduct, and will prosecute those who steal funds intended to educate our children.”

Mother was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $530,000. The daughter was sentenced to 36 months.

Mother is scheduled to be released from prison in March 2018. The daughter was released June 2016.

If you found this case interesting, you’ll also want to read (and it’s a quick read) this similar case: School Bookkeeper Sentenced to 14-Months in Prison

 

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to AmazonFind out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in UNKNOWN THREAT

an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel

Available at Amazon

School Violence: How Do We Make It Stop?

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #106One of the saddest experiences I’ve had in life was to attend a candlelight vigil at my hometown elementary school after the beloved principal was gunned down in his office.

There seem to be a few commonalities between school shootings. Retaliation for bullying is high on the list. A gang war isn’t a surprise. The love triangle is shocking.

BLOG POST #106: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a high school shooting.

Children are a large part of the problem and need to be  involved in the solution.

How Does a Bully Choose a Victim?

Quantifying bullying is hard. One person can respond to criticism and ridicule with a shrug of their shoulders. Another person may retreat, be fearful and become depressed.

Being a kid is tough. When you add low self-esteem, low self-worth, body image, difficult home life, or any of the myriad of challenging scenarios children must overcome, and you have a prime candidate for bullying.

Females respond to bullying differently than males because the male ego is in play. And it seems boys during the years when hormones are raging are the most volatile.

Nothing, absolutely nothing justifies responding to any event with violence.

How Not to Respond to Bullying

The 15-year-old boy had been attending the high school for one year. His relative said he’d mentioned he was being bullied. They didn’t realize it was as bad as it must have been. Another relative was unaware the young boy had searched her home and found a gun.

Upon arriving at school, the 15-year-old and the other boy, the one he claimed was a bully, met near the entrance of the school. It was a normal day for the other students until two shots rang out.

The 15-year-old shooter dropped the gun and turned himself in to the principal to await law enforcement.

The alleged bully was shot twice and taken to a hospital where he spent two months in intensive care.

The community, staff, parents, and classmates held a candlelight vigil at the school. Getting together after a tragedy is both heartbreaking and healing.

Schools Cannot Stop School Violence

The authorities arrested the shooter and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon. His case was transferred from juvenile court to adult court. The 15-year-old was sentenced to 6 years and 10 months in state prison.

During the investigation, it became known the shooter had been charged with stabbing another student at the previous high school. This made me wonder if bullying was at the core of the conflict or did the shooter have violent tendencies.

Teachers teach. Principals make sure schools run efficiently, stay within a budget, and monitor student achievement. Most schools don’t have marshals or resource officers to police the campuses. The staff whose job it is to ‘monitor’ students is often a woman or older person supplementing a retirement. There are also custodians, librarians, computer techs, classroom aides, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, etc. At most schools, nobody is trained to be aware of building tension between students, nor are they trained to derail an altercation or anticipate looming violence.

I believe students are one of the keys to ending school violence. When community leaders, law enforcement, school administration, and parents get together to brainstorm methods to end school violence they seldom include students. In my opinion, if children aren’t part of the solution, the solution will fail.

I was chatting with someone in the United Kingdom the other day; he mentioned a school massacre that happened there in 1996. Sixteen children and one adult were killed that day. In response to this shooting, tighter private ownership gun restrictions were enacted. They haven’t had a school massacre since.

Is tighter gun control the answer? One thing is certain; people are passionate about their opinions on both sides of this debate.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

Link to AmazonUNKNOWN THREAT

an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

Shock and Horror Happened the Night Before a Basketball Tournament

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #105This case made me think of a Stephen King quote, “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”

Researching and writing about creepy people and disgusting behavior is worth it when someone who’s read one of my stories or blog posts notices questionable behavior connected to a school and says or does something about it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Keep your eyes open and never assume children are safe at school. If something seems amiss, it probably is. Say something.

BLOG POST #105: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving high school basketball players.

A freshman went on an overnight trip to a school sponsored basketball tournament and ended up in the hospital.

Locker Room Secrets

It had been a longstanding rite of passage for freshman basketball players to receive a ‘racking in’ from the older players. In other words, they received a beating.

Players routinely had not reported the abuse because they didn’t want to be labeled a ‘snitch.’ That year, one brave boy told the coach about the older boys’ conduct.

Criminal Hazing

While out of town, the coaches left the team unchaperoned to purchase groceries. It was during that window of opportunity the older players retaliated against the brave boy for reporting them.

The older boys beat four younger ones with a pool cue. If that wasn’t bad enough, two players held down the boy who reported them while a third upperclassman sodomized him with a pool cue.

When the coaches returned, they found the boy lying in a pool of blood. They took him to a medical center where he was treated and released.

The medical center, not the coaches, reported the incident to the proper authorities. State law mandated school employees report suspected child sexual abuse.

The next morning, the rape victim was taken to a hospital where surgery was performed to repair his damaged colon, prostate, and bladder. Let that sink in for a moment. The rape was so aggressive the boy’s bladder was damaged.

Short Term Consequence vs. Lifetime of Trauma

Three teens were arrested and charged with rape.

Two coaches and the director of athletics were arrested and charged with failure to report child sexual abuse.

There was a motion to move the teens’ trial to the adult court. The judge denied the motion. He stated the teens would have a better chance of rehabilitation in the juvenile system.

The County criminal judge said, “It’s hard for us to believe what a human being can do to another human being.”

The two teens that held the younger boy down were found guilty of aggravated assault and sentenced to sixty days in a juvenile facility.

The teen who committed the rape was found guilty of aggravated rape and remained in a juvenile facility for less than one year.

The judge dropped all charges against the coach and assistant coach because the language of the law stated school employees were mandated to report child sexual abuse if committed by a member of the child’s household. The law doesn’t address the moral obligation to report the crime. The law has since been updated.

The athletic director resigned from his position and agreed to 10-hours of community service working at a food bank.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

If you thought this case is an isolated incident, you should also read this post: High School Hazing

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff

at Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT

an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon