First episode of my lovely new YouTube channel, in a series titled The Unforgotten, focusing on the more obscure unsolved crimes. In this case, it’s a Jane Doe found dead in Provincetown, MA known as “The Lady of the Dunes.” Not terribly obscure, but not as well known as many.
I was relating a story that came across my Twitter feed to my mother, about a man who posted on Craigslist that he was willing to tutor women in sex, regardless of how old or young. Police were made aware, and an officer posed as the mother of a twelve-year-old girl seeking such education for her daughter. He was arrested when they met to exchange money, and had claimed to have “taught” a sixteen-year-old similar lessons in the past.
My mother then informed me that my eighth grade civics teacher had been arrested last year and convicted this year. His crime? Soliciting current and former students for nude photos and child molestation, among other things. For his plea agreement, in addition to time served, he was sentenced to time served, thirteen years in prison, and the rest of his life on probation. He will, of course, never be permitted to teach again.
Details immediately following his arrest are here.
One of my brothers and I were not surprised, even though this teacher was always a beloved one. He was a “cool” teacher, who got on the level of his students. He made learning fun and easy. I mean, I didn’t retain much, but the tests were easy, especially the much-feared 8th grade Constitution test, which I believe all Arizona students are required to take and pass (at least at the time) and because of that teacher several of us, myself included, got 100%. But my brother and I always agreed that there was something a little odd about him. My youngest brother just said he always liked him.
Is psychological testing a requirement of becoming a teacher? Yes, I know there’s always a teacher shortage (perhaps because of how American society treats this necessary and important position), but perhaps it should be. A year or two after I graduated high school, my junior history teacher was arrested and convicted because he was soliciting students similarly and sending pictures of his privates via instant messaging programs.
I was raised in Yuma, Arizona. According to the 2010 census, there weren’t quite 196 thousand people living there at the time. That means of the perhaps 33 different teachers I personally was exposed to, at least two were convicted sex offenders. I don’t know, to be honest, if the school system uses any sort of psychological testing to make sure potential teachers don’t have this sort of thought process, but maybe they should, before more children are at risk.