by Randall S. Frederick
A few days ago, another teacher scandal broke – this one in Alhambra, which is just a short drive away from Pasadena, where I’m currently living. By this point, having grown up with a seemingly never-ending “breaking story” I just shrugged it off. There comes a point where you’re just desensitized to it. Another teacher had sex with a student? Really? Well… I guess they never “learn”…
Running a Google search of “teacher sex” turns up 365 million websites. Three hundred and sixty-five million. How is that possible? While most of this is porn, some of the top stories as of 11 Feb ’14 are:
- Brianne Altice, 34, was arrested in Oct. 2013 after one of her former students approached Utah police and told them that he had a sexual relationship with the English teacher beginning when he was 15 years old. He was able to describe tattoos on the teacher’s body, and told police that they had sex at least seven times, including once in a public park.
- Summer Michelle Hansen , 31, was charged in August 2013 with sex crimes involving 5 students at the California high school where she taught special education. Hansen allegedly sent sexually suggestive texts to at least one student, who claimed she had sex with him as a “prize” for doing well in a baseball game.
- Diana Leigh Farnell , 28, turned herself in to North Carolina police on Sept. 12, 2013, following accusations that she’d had sex with one student at the high school where she taught English. One student told WCCB that he noticed flirting between Farnell and certain students in his English class.
- Rachelle Gendron , 27, was charged with five counts of rape stemming from her alleged affair with a 14-year-old student. The former sexual education teacher allegedly sent the boy photos of herself in “various stages of undress, with breasts and genitals exposed,” according to an indictment.
- Kelly Ann Garcia , an English teacher in Texas, is accused of carrying on sexual relations with a 16-year-old female student. The Houston-area educator, who allegedly took the teen to a sex shop during their romance, faces charges of sex assault of a child and indecency with a child.
- Kahtanna Culp is accused of having sex multiple times with a student at Northbrook High School in Houston. She allegedly told the school’s principal about the relationship after the student threatened to make their relationship public unless she paid him.
- Debra Lafave Former middle school teacher Debra Lafave pled guilty on Nov. 22, 2005 to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery. Lafave, now 31, whose sexual liaisons with a 14-year-old middle school student made tabloid headlines, avoided prison as part of a plea agreement.
- Debra Lafave was arrested Dec. 4, 2007 for violating the terms of her probation. Lafave was originally arrested on June 21, 2004 and charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a person under 16 years old.
- Carrie McCandless was taken into custody after her sentencing hearing at Larimer County Justice Center for an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student at Brighton Charter High School, where she was a teacher, Friday, June 8, 2007, in Fort Collins, Colorado. McCandless was sentenced to 45 days in jail, five years on probation and a four-year deferred sentence. McCandless was arrested in May of 2011 for a parole violation after she tested positive for morphine. She served a 60-day sentence for the violation.
- Erin Thorne , 28, was accused of sending one of her students sexually explicit text messages before he turned 18. The relationship turned sexual after the student turned 18, cops said.
- Katheryn L. Carmean , worked as a teacher’s aid at Seaford Middle School in Delaware is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy at least ’40 times’ over a ten month period. She was arrested in February, 2012.
- Elyse Cromwell , a 27-year-old New Jersey teacher, was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student multiple times. She was reportedly the male student’s English and homeroom teacher.
- Leah Shipman was arrested in 2009 for having an alleged sexual affair with a 15-year-old student in North Carolina. Prosecutors were forced to drop the case in 2011 when Shipman and the then-17-year-old got married. Under North Carolina law, a husband cannot be forced to testify against his wife.
- Kristine Ngum , who taught “exceptional students” at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, is accused of having sex with a student. Her husband denied the charges, but said Ngum is “too overcaring.”
- Stephanie Fletcher is accused of having sex with two 16-year-old students, including during class breaks.
- Amanda Sotelo , a 35-year-old married woman, was a substitute teacher who had a months-long affair with a 14-year-old boy, police in Texas said. She learned she was pregnant, allegedly with his child, during a visit to the emergency room in September 2012. Police charged her with indecency with a child, but she claims that she and the boy are in love.
- Michael Shanklin Former Virginia Beach teacher Michael Shanklin has been indicted on a charge of possession of child pornography. He recently pled guilty to spanking a student during a tutoring session at the school. He claims he felt the student needed to be punished for not finishing an assignment and was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery in the case.
- Lynne Freeman, a 38-year-old mother and parent volunteer at University Schools, was arrested Wednesday for the alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old teenage boy — a friend of her daughter’s — in her home.
- Stefanie Dickinson Colorado school board member Stefanie Dickinson was charged with Internet luring of a child in September after she was caught sexting a 14-year-old boy. The boy reportedly told police he became uncomfortable after she would show up at his football games and tell him how sexy his smile was. She was arrested in October for sexual assault on another minor, also a student.
- Irene Khan, in June, 2012, Khan was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student on multiple occasions including in her car and home and at various hotels.
- Nicole Jacques, in late March, 2012, Nicole Jacques allegedly had sex with her 15-year-old student several times in her apartment. None of the alleged abuse happened at Calvary Baptist School in Pennsylvania where she worked.
- Stephanie Cobb was arrested in March, 2012 for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old student. She also allegedly exchanged 12,000 texts with the boy over the course of four months
- Lauren Redfern Colorado high school physical education teacher and basketball coach Lauren Redfern was charged with sexual assault on a child by a person of a position of trust with a pattern of sexual abuse after suspicions arose that she was having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student over the course of 4 months. Though initial interviews with the victim indicate that their relationship was consensual, it will not deter the Sheriff’s Office from pressing charges against Redfern.
- Heather Whitten Whitten, a 38-year-old teacher at Williams Intermediate School in Alabama, was arrested in February 2012 for allegedly raping a male student between the ages of 12 and 16. Cops said that the crime did not occur on school grounds.
- Andrea Ebert, a 30-year-old special education teacher at Rice Lake Middle School in Wisconsin, was jailed in February 2012 after she allegedly had sex with two 17-year-old students. None of several encounters between her and the students were reported to be on campus.
- Jennifer Schultz North Dakota school teacher Jennifer Schultz is charged with sexually assaulting two of her students after a group of students arrived at her home and asked if she would like to drink vodka with them. Authorities say that after a few drinks, two of the boys went up to Schultz’s room, where the teacher allegedly had sex with one boy while the other watched.
- Kelly K. Miller, 32, a science teacher in the Chicago suburbs, was charged with sexual exploitation of a child on Sept. 27 after allegedly sending explicit photos of herself to a 15-year-old student.
- Pamela Joan Rogers Turner, now 34, a former teacher who served time in jail for having sex with a 13-year-old boy, is currently serving a prison sentence for sending inappropriate photos and videos of herself to that same boy after she served out her original sentence.
- Pamela Joan Turner The Tennessee Supreme Court said that it would not hear the appeal of Turner, who was convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old student at the Warren County school where she taught, then again convicted of sending that same student inappropriate photos and videos of herself.
- Amber Jennings pled guilty in 2005 to “disseminating harmful materials to a minor.” She was sentenced to two years’ probation. A spokesman for Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte said the allegations involved a 16-year-old student.
- Mary Kay Letourneau is registered as a level-two sex offender following her Aug. 4, 2004, release from prison. Letourneau completed a 7 1/2-year term for child rape in connection with a relationship she had with her former sixth-grade pupil Vili Fualaau. The two went on to host a “Hot for Teacher” night at a Seattle nightclub after Fualaau and his mother, Soona Vili, sought $1 million from the City of Des Moines, claiming police and school officials should have kept Fualaau from having sex with Letourneau. The couple have two children.
- Wendie A. Schweikert, 36, of Belton, South Carolina was an elementary school teacher who was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The former fifth-grade teacher was accused of having sex with her 11-year-old student. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2007.
- Tara Driscoll Mugshot , 33, pled guilty to having sex with a student who attended the high school where she worked. She was sentenced to six years probation.
- Rachel L. Holt Mugshot , a science teacher at Claymont Elementary School, was arrested in 2006 after being accused of having sex with a 13-year-old student. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2007. Prosecutors had wanted Scott to sentence Holt to the maximum of 25 years.
- George Hernandez, a substitute teacher in L.A.’s second-largest school district, was investigated three times for sexual misconduct with students. Hernandez fled to Mexico when police found video evidence of him molesting a second-grade girl. He remains at large and wanted by the Huntington Park Police Department.
- Holly Hatcher was charged with statutory rape after being accused of having sex with a 17-year-old male student at her home in Nashville.
- Angela Renee Comer , 28, reached a plea agreement in 2007. Comer was sentenced to five years in prison for one count of sodomy and five additional years for one count of custodial interference. The former teacher was charged with having sex with a 14-year-old middle school student and running off to Mexico with him in January 2006.
- Brittni Colleps , 27, was charged with having sex with five high school students at her home in Arlington, Texas. She faces 20 years in prison.
- Stacy Schuler , 33, is an ex-Ohio teacher who was convicted of having sex with five students. The teens testified their teacher had been drinking alcohol and initiated much of the contact during the encounters, which took place at Schuler’s home. After a judge rejected an insanity defense that argued the teens took advantage of her, Schuler was sentenced to a total of four years in prison.
- Mark Berndt , former Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt, 61, was arrested for felony molestation of 23 kids after photos surfaced. Berndt been charged with committing lewd acts with 23 boys and girls ages 7 to 10. Berndt pleaded not guilty on Feb. 21.
- Amie Neely is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student who was living with her and her husband at the time of the suspected affair.
- Jody Onorato , 43, allegedly sent dozens of nude photos of herself to two high school students in Ocala, Fla. “to get attention.” Onorato was an attendance clerk at Vanguard High School. She was arrested in March 2013.
- Ethel Anderson , a former Florida “Teacher of the Year,” was convicted of molestation, battery, and sex with a 12-year-old student whom she had tutored at her home in December 2011. Anderson sent more than 230 pages of sexually explicit text messages to the boy, and later said in court that she had intended the texts as “sexual therapy.”
(Courtesy The Huffington Post)
Many claim that there is no difference between male and female sexual offenders.
If you are attracted to someone under the age of 18 and you are over the age of 25… there is something off in that. There are SO many mental and biological developments that happen between the ages of 18-25, personally, there doesn’t seem a way there can be any sort of parody of intimacy that is vulnerable on the part of the more mature, whether female or male. Thus, if you are attracted to such crazy youth, you need to have a very long conversation with some very good professionals.
Whether these instances are part of an epidemic of individual psycho-sexual issues which we are only now beginning to discuss in public forums, culture is changing to become more permissive, or there is a delayed “equalizing” and redistribution of shame to women as well as men, clearly an issue that is not going away but is become such an ever-present reality that many, like myself, have begun to become numbed to it. Is it possible that there is a double narrative where “women can be attracted to teenagers because [that is] the flip-side of patriarchy”?
While a “disturbing question” lingers over why we allow, even celebrate, mothers to delight in the bodies of eternally-teen Twilight heroes and fondle images of Justin Bieber, I believe that there is an economy of entertainment to it. We have become a culture so fascinated with the elusive and mythical “female desire” that we watch breaking news not for the shock and horror, but out of deep-seated curiosity. You mean… women have desires too? For younger sexual partners? Tell me more! It is the fulfillment of a cheap thrill or at least a form of “scientific interest” that masquerades as social concern. I maintain that there is some thing-behind-the-thing, some repeating why that is more important than a how, that in equal parts makes us complicit consumers of this kind of entertainment.