Research Blog

Welcome to Robin’s Research Blog!

Robin mainly posts about her research on crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Anything other than goodness associated with schools is a sensitive subject. Parents can choose to believe school violence, school crimes, and school sex crimes won’t happen to their child or at their child’s school, or they can become more vigilant. 

Robin writes stories and blog posts with a message to parents and grandparents of school age children, to school staff, and to community government – if it hasn’t already, school crime will happen to you or in your community. Hopefully, her stories and blog posts will make you think about these sensitive issues and arm you with awareness. Read, learn, and be observant.

If you become aware of someone at your child’s school you think may be a danger to someone else, NEVER try to handle the situation yourself. REPORT your suspicions to school administration or law enforcement.

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Disclaimer:  If you become aware of someone you think may be a danger to someone else, NEVER try to handle the situation yourself – REPORT your suspicions to school administration or law enforcement. All data and information provided on this site is for information and research purposes only and not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. Criminal cases may have been appealed or verdicts overturned since a case was researched.  All information is provided on an as-is basis. The opinions expressed by individuals providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Robin Lyons.

5th Grade Teacher To Spend Life In Prison

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #130Nothing makes me angrier than an adult abusing a child. Yes, there are children with mental illness who can misbehave, sometimes criminally.

Most children are innocent little beings who just want to have fun, be cared for and be loved.

Most parents trust the people who work at schools to look out for their child’s safety and welfare while in their custody. Sadly, parents should not have trusted this sexual predator.

BLOG POST #130: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a sexual predator at a Christian Academy.

A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

He taught 5th grade, and was also the director of summer school day camp, a youth minister and coached youth sports.

The authorities knew nothing about the teacher’s criminal behavior. They began looking into him after someone contacted them and asked if they were investigating him.

Together with our law enforcement partners, the FBI will remain vigilant to ensure our children are protected,” said the FBI Special Agent in Charge.

A police detective contacted the pastor at the Church where the teacher was a youth minister and asked if the pastor was aware of any criminal investigation into his youth minister.

False Allegations?

The Church pastor was not aware of an investigation.

Less than one week after the police detective contacted the church pastor, the teacher’s wife, who was separating from her husband, came forward with information about her husband’s conduct with students.

A Skilled Sexual Predator

An undercover FBI agent in an online forum received from the teacher 141 images and six videos depicting sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Agents searched the teacher’s home and found he had documented in photos and videos his sexual abuse of 29 children from his community, all between the ages of 6-12.

The former teacher pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexually exploiting a minor; one count of distributing child pornography; and one count of possessing child pornography.

A sentence of 250 years in federal prison will forever protect children and their parents from [the former teacher],” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The court sentenced him to 30 years for each of the seven counts and concurrent (served at the same time) prison terms of 20 years for the other two counts—a total of 210 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release should he be released from prison. Sentenced at the age of 43, his scheduled release date, should he live that long, is in 2097.

Worth mentioning: The former teacher appealed his sentence because a sentence of 210 years is several times greater than his remaining life expectancy; it is by definition “greater than necessary.” The court disagreed and upheld the sentence.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ on this case: Beware of the smooth operator who is also a narcissist. Anytime an adult married or not, invites children to sleep over at their home especially when they do not have children—say NO! If an adult married or not wants to spend alone time with a child regardless of how genuine they appear—say NO!

What do you think 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 and caring about children!

-Robin

Link to AmazonMAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

The Tragic Death Of A Caring Educator

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #129Sadly, there was another school shooting this week. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who lost their loved one, to those injured, and to those who were frightened by the event.

Perpetrators of school shootings act for a broad range of reasons. And it isn’t always a student looking down the barrel of a gun.

BLOG POST #129: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific case involving a special needs teacher and her estranged husband.

Not Happily Ever After

The teacher and her husband dated for four years before they married. He was a pastor with a criminal history. She was known as a caring educator with a special affinity for working with children with learning disabilities.

The teacher’s mother was reported to have said her son-in-law changed after the two married. He began criticizing and belittling her daughter.

Three months after they wed, the teacher moved out.

Trouble Found Her At Work

A few weeks after the teacher moved out, her estranged husband walked into the school and used the pretense of dropping off something for his wife. He entered her elementary classroom, with 15 sets of little eyes watching, he shot and killed his wife before taking his own life. Gunfire also hit two students; one was fatally wounded.

The Rest Of The Story

To aid in the recovery from the horrific event, over the summer, the school received a $1 million makeover.

As parents arrived on the first day of school, they noticed a slowdown when entering the building. New security measures were in place at the entrance. Upon entering the school, they saw the hallways had been repainted with bright colors and featured inspirational quotes.

Memories of our lives, of our work and our deeds will continue in others.” – Rosa Parks

Tempered glass now lined the large windows in the interior classrooms. Classrooms now have locking steel doors and an exterior exit. The special needs classroom where the deadly shooting took place is now a project room, and the number on the door was changed. The special needs students have a new classroom across the hall.

Returning to a campus after an act of violence has occurred is extremely difficult. I applaud the school district for their effort to make the school as welcoming and positive as possible.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, here’s some helpful information: Domestic Violence & Abuse

Worth mentioning: The Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness reports 75% of domestic violence related homicides occur upon separation.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’: Schools can’t be expected to do background checks on coworkers’ spouses. Domestic violence is tricky, the person being abused is often afraid to say anything for fear the abuse will intensify or worse. There are always a few friends who know or strongly suspect what’s happening. Does the spouse excessively boast about how wonderful life is? That’s a clue; life may be far from wonderful. Whenever your gut tells you something is off, speak to the principal so he or she can know to be leery of the spouse.

What do you think 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 and caring about children!

-Robin

Link to AmazonMAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

This Teacher Collected Inappropriate Images For More Than 40 Years

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

I know the information I share is disturbing, and for that, I apologize. But these crimes do happen, and we can’t pretend otherwise. It is my hope, reading my research will better equip you to notice when something is ‘off’ at school. Thank you for caring about children and continuing to read my research.

BLOG POST #128: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a teacher’s addiction to pornography.

Secret Life

He’d secretly collected thousands of inappropriate images of abused children for more than 40 years, some boys as young as 5, 6, or 7 years old.

This defendant received thousands of images portraying the sexual abuse of children,” said the U.S. Attorney in a press release.

His secret may have continued if it weren’t for a law enforcement agent who logged into a publicly available Internet file sharing program and downloaded images of child pornography from shared directories maintained by the teacher.

The FBI executed a search warrant at his residence. And he was arrested after admitting he had used the file sharing program to obtain and trade child pornography.

Was It Worth It?

He’d worked at the prestigious private, co-ed, prep school for high school students for 23 years, most recently as a theater and film teacher and also in community theaters around the region.

There were no photos of children he taught nor had he used school computers to access the file sharing sites he used. He cooperated with the FBI, accepted responsibility and appreciated the treatment program he’d been in since his arrest.

The former teacher waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography.

The U.S. Attorney also said, “The fact that this heinous crime was committed by a teacher, whose profession is committed to the well-being of children, makes it especially disturbing.”

At age 65, the former teacher was sentenced to five years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

Worth mentioning: A joint study was conducted by a local newspaper and TV station in the (small) state where the former teacher lived. They found during 2011 – 2015, six or more teachers were arrested in the state each year for alleged sexual misconduct, with nine arrests in 2015. And before that time-frame, the average yearly total was four. Here’s the full report: Teacher Misconduct

If you do a basic math calculation using population and the numbers from the study, then apply those figures to the entire U.S., the results would indicate 542 teachers are arrested for sexual misconduct each year. Many variables would apply (socioeconomic, rural vs. urban, etc.). From my research, I knew there was a lot of bad behavior happening at schools, but this is staggering.

My Takeaway: Other than on the internet where you can often have screen names, this man hid his perversion from the world outside his home for more than 40 years. From all I read, he lived alone. He didn’t cross the line and take photos of his students or try to groom them. It’s a good thing he taught older children or his crimes may have been worse.

What do you think 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.

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 AmazonMAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at AMAZON

Alumni Shooter at the Middle School

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Schools have safety policies, they perform drills to prepare for possible shooter scenarios, and they have put in place best practices. I’d venture a guess that most if not all schools now require visitors to ‘sign-in’ at the office and be issued a temporary visitor badge.

Sadly, there is no way to prepare for the school shooting in the case I’m sharing research on in the post.

BLOG POST #127: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific school shooting case involving a former middle school student.

Old Stomping Ground

On the day of the shooting, he first went to a sporting goods store to purchase ammunition for the high powered rifle he’d borrowed from his father without his father’s knowledge and had placed in the trunk of his car. Then he stopped for a fast food lunch before arriving at the middle school he attended twenty years ago.

Upon entering the middle school, he was advised by a custodian that he needed to go to the office. In the office, he told the secretary he wanted to see the new wing of the building and asked about certain teachers he had known. He signed in to receive a visitor’s badge and waited for school to let out.

The Inquiry

He asked a custodian if he’d gone to school there, the custodian responded that he had not.

He went outside and asked a group of students whether they attended the school. They answered that they did not.

No Turning Back

Returning to his car, he retrieved the rifle. By this time, the school had released, he approached another group of students and asked if they went to the middle school and one of them answered yes. He announced they were all going to die and fired a shot, hitting one 8th-grade student. And then reloaded and shot another 8th-grade student. Both students survived.

A Heroic Act

A fearless teacher raced to the gunman and tackled him to the ground. He and other employees held the shooter on the ground until law enforcement arrived.

Hard Life

Unemployed and struggling financially the shooter had been living with his father the previous five years. And no stranger to trouble, over the years the shooter had been charged with suspicion of menacing, assault, domestic violence, and driving under the influence.

The school shooter was charged with four counts of attempted murder, four counts of first-degree assault, two counts of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, and unlawful possession of a weapon on school grounds.

Happy Defense

He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity on ten of eleven counts but guilty of unlawful possession of a weapon on school grounds.

The crime took place in one of 11 states that require prosecutors to prove a defendant was sane at the time of the crime rather than require the defense to prove insanity.

The judge sentenced him to 18 months in prison and indefinitely to a state mental hospital until doctors convince the judge that he is no longer a threat.

Worth mentioning: Five years after the middle school shooting, the court allowed the shooter limited, supervised outings twice a week to stress-free public places as the next step in his therapy at the state mental hospital. As you can imagine, the victims and their families were not happy about the decision.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ 0n this case: This case is troubling because the father was the only person who may have seen his son’s behavior and concluded there might be a dangerous outcome. Parents can’t imagine their child would do something this horrible. And typically, parents stand by their child and say what they did was uncharacteristic behavior. Possibly schools need to tighten their best practices even more. Is it time to deny access to all who aren’t students or staff?

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.

Thanks for reading and caring about children!

-Robin

Link to AmazonMAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna  is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

 

A Sexual ‘Hit List’ At The High School

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Thank you for spending a few minutes to read my research. I hope as you’ve been reading about these cases your awareness and vigilance is becoming heightened.

If one nugget of information causes someone to question a behavior, then my time sharing these cases has been well spent. If you do become aware of someone at a school you think may be a danger to someone else, NEVER try to handle the situation yourself – REPORT your suspicions to school administration or law enforcement.

BLOG POST #126: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving high school students.

Not A Merry Christmas

Just before Christmas one year, two high school boys were arrested and charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct against a 15-year-old female classmate. Another boy was also charged, but due to his age, the case was handled in juvenile court with sealed records.

The state law says anyone under age 16 cannot consent to sexual activity.

Third-degree criminal sexual conduct is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Well Groomed

The grandmother of the 15-year-old student sexually assaulted believes the boys groomed her granddaughter and planned the sexual assault.

The female victim said in her written statement the boys repeatedly complimented her leading up to the crime.

Party Time

The day of the crime, the boys lured the 15-year-old student away from her track practice, gave her alcohol, and then drove her to one boy’s home where they raped her and took pictures of the assault.

Police said they were unable to confirm the photograph’s existence because they could not bypass the boy’s phone’s password encryption.

Both defendants admitted to police they knew what they were doing was wrong because the girl was 15 and drunk.

Done Deal

One teen pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct of a victim between 13 and 15. The other teen entered a plea to one count for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at his home. The second teen also pleaded guilty to giving alcohol to the girl, which is a misdemeanor.

“A relative of the victim said, “We expected school would be a safe zone we had no idea she would be in a danger or would be in any kind of risk there.”

Sympathetic Judge

At the time of the crime, both boys were 17, and had clean records, the judge sentenced the boys to one year in county jail and three years of probation. And, because they were sentenced under a Youthful Trainee Act, if they don’t re-offend, their records will be wiped clean when they’re off probation.

Who’s The Victim?

The boys were not allowed on school property, were not allowed to attend prom, and did not walk with their graduating class at commencement.

The victim’s grandmother said her granddaughter experienced extreme bullying at school because the defendants were popular. She also said school officials were aware of the boys’ reputation, which included a ‘hit list’ of freshmen girls they wanted to target.

Worth mentioning: One prosecutor blasted a Circuit Court judge for his refusal to order the two high school boys be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. The judge said the time limits for testing had expired. The tests should have been done within 48 hours of the defendants’ indictment.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ in this case: When an upper-class boy shows interest in a freshman girl—parents need to thoroughly and openly question the boy’s intentions. Don’t be dissuaded because your daughter’s horrified or humiliated by your inquisitiveness. If the boy’s intentions are honorable, he’ll stick around. If his intentions are unscrupulous, he’ll move on to another less challenging target.

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.

Thanks for reading and caring about children!

-Robin

Link to Amazon MAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon