Gunslinger At The Middle School

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

School violence, when it takes a deadly turn, is hard to comprehend. For as long as there have been schools, there have been fights between students. But school violence now happens far too frequent.

BLOG POST #121: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving middle school students.

Because it was an intensely cold winter morning, the middle school started two hours late.

Better To Have Stayed Home

The 14-year-old student skipped his morning classes to prepare for his afternoon assault.

Before leaving for school, he armed himself with his father’s fully loaded weapons; rifle, revolver and semiautomatic pistol. He strapped to his chest and waist three belts of additional ammunition and packed a speed loader for the revolver.

He removed the inside pocket on a long black trench coat to conceal the rifle as he walked to school. The news reported he looked like a gunslinger.

Armed and ready, he entered his fifth-period algebra class and shot his intended target, a classmate who did not survive. It’s unknown why he targeted this boy.

The next two victims, two more classmates, were shot as they dropped to the floor to crawl under their desks, one survived with extensive injuries.

When the teacher cried out, “No, no,” he shot her as well, she also did not survive.

That Which Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Stronger – Friedrich Nietzsche

Upon hearing the gunshots, a P.E. Teacher ran into the classroom. He dove toward the injured teacher. The shooter told the P.E. Teacher to stand up, or he would shoot another student. He did and then talked the shooter into allowing a few students to assist the injured teacher out of the classroom along with a diabetic student.

The student who survived went on to become involved in Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE).

Nowhere To Run

Police tried to hostage negotiate with the shooter which resulted in escalating his agitation.

Deciding he needed coverage in case there were snipers he told the P.E. Teacher to stand near him and put the end of the rifle in his mouth. When the heroic teacher appeared to comply, the shooter wasn’t expecting the teacher to grab the gun and pin him against the wall. He then told the students to run.

The police stormed the classroom and handcuffed the shooter.

Juvenile Or Adult?

The shooter’s case was sent to adult court, where he pleaded insanity.

At the trial, the defense team had an expert testify the shooter suffered from depression and bipolar disorder. The prosecution also had an expert testify he suffered from dysthymic disorder, hyperactivity, and clinical depression. He was taking Ritalin at the time of the shooting.

The 14-year-old troubled boy was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, one count of first-degree attempted murder, and 16 counts of aggravated kidnapping.

Without Parole: With Parole

He was sentenced to serve two life sentences plus an additional 205 years without the possibility of parole.

However, in 2012, a U.S. Supreme Court ruled people younger than 16 could not receive life sentences without parole. Twenty-one years after the shooting, a judge resentenced him to 189 years.

Worth mentioning: Juvenile court makes a decision to keep a case or move a case to adult court based on the best interest of the juvenile or the public, and taking into account eight standards set out in Kent v. the United States also known as the ‘Kent Factors.’

(1) The seriousness of the charged offense and whether protection of the community requires prosecution in adult court.

(2) Whether the offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated or willful manner.

(3) Whether the offense was against persons or property.

(4) The prosecutive merit of the case.

(5) Whether the defendant had an adult accomplice.

(6) The defendant’s sophistication and maturity.

(7) The defendant’s prior record.

(8) The prospects for adequate protection of the public and rehabilitation of the juvenile in the juvenile system.

My heart goes out to all families who have suffered because of school violence. And my sincere condolences go to those who have lost a loved one.

What do you think about this case? Your relevant comments about this post or any of the other posts are always welcome on the website.

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

Thank you for reading and caring about children!

-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

The 44-Year-Old Teacher And Her 13-Year-Old Student

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #115Hello! Thank you for your continued interest in my research. This week, you may be surprised that the teacher involved in the sex crime case is a woman. Male sexual predators overwhelmingly outnumber females in sex crime cases involving children. But there are female sexual predators as in this week’s case.

BLOG POST #115: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a Special Education Teacher and her seventh-grade student.

The Teacher’s Lewd Behavior

The middle school special education teacher had been with the district for close to twenty years when she ended her career and essentially her life after initiated a sexual relationship with one of her seventh-grade students.

The ‘affair’ may have continued for longer than one month had the teacher and student not been parked in a dark corner of a public park a little after midnight when sheriff’s deputies were checking the park for suspicious behavior.

There’s No Turning Back

Following the teacher’s arrest, the school placed her on administrative leave. After posting bail and being released from jail, she resigned from her teaching position.

The county school superintendent said, “When we have an allegation like this it is a shock to parents, it’s a shock to students, it’s a shock to us as administrators, to the whole profession.”

In the student’s testimony, he said his teacher was sexually aggressive with him when she drove him home after he’d hung out at her house on Halloween.

The victim also stated during their one-month ‘affair,’ they’d had sex at the teacher’s home, in her car, and at hunting property belonging to her in-laws after riding four-wheelers.

Judged By A Jury Of Your Peers

It took the jury six hours to find the ex-school teacher guilty of aggravated child molestation, child molestation, statutory rape and sexual assault on a person in custody, all felonies.

In court, the county prosecutor said, “One of our trusted teachers was willing to cross the line with a student.”

No Winners

School counselors and administrators met with students to discuss the matter.

The Superior Court Judge sentenced her to life in prison with a minimum of 25 years before she’d be eligible for parole. After her release from prison, she’ll be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of her life.

The judge also prohibited her from any contact with minors other than her children.

She began serving her prison sentence in 2013, at the age of 45.

Worth Mentioning: She petitioned the court for a new trial based on inconsistencies in the victim’s testimony and because the prosecution only played portions of the victim’s interview tapes. Her petitions were denied in 2015 and 2016.

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

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