Author’s note: I removed the names of the school, Parish, and people involved in this report. However, the explicit details remain. Reader beware.
I consider myself to be very open-minded.
I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and I surely try not to jump to conclusions. However, 2 years ago, a bombshell was placed in my lap. I was sent a picture of a “registered sex offender” postcard from a friend. My heart dropped to my stomach and my stomach dropped out of my body. I recognized this woman listed as a predator. So, with one quick Google search, I was able to find out why a familiar face was staring back at me through this unexpected notification. There on my phone, I read harrowing details of a child molester:
“December 2006, New Orleans, LA — A former [School] teacher has been arrested on allegations of indecent behavior with a 12-year-old student, acts that were caught on videotape, a Parish Sheriff’s Office arrest report said.
[Teacher], 24 was booked Wednesday with molestation of a juvenile, indecent behavior with a juvenile and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the arrest report said. She resigned from [School] on Monday, said a spokesman for the Parish public school system.
Also arrested, was an [18-year-old male], who was accused of arranging, participating in and videotaping the liaison between the unidentified boy and [Teacher], who allegedly wanted to have a sexual relationship with the student, according to the arrest report.
She had been employed at [School] where the boy attended from October 2006 until December 2006, when the incident took place.
According to the arrest report, the 12-year-old was in the care of [18-year-old male] at the boy’s house. The [18-year-old male] allegedly allowed the teacher to come to the home, according to the report. Before she arrived, [18-year-old male] set up a video camera in the living room. Once [Teacher] got there, she and the 12-year-old went into another room, the report said. It was not known what occurred in the room.
When they returned, [18-year-old male] gave the boy one Xanax, a prescription anxiety medication that he took from the teacher’s purse, the report said. The woman then took off all of her clothing except for her underwear and performed a sexually suggestive dance for the boy. Then the woman performed oral sex on [18-year-old male] in front of the boy, who talked to both of them during the act, the report said.”
[Teacher] was convicted January 25, 2008, and released June 4, 2011.
Five years later, [Teacher] became a mom.
Now, that mom is a parent at my children’s school. Last year, her name was, for some reason, removed from the sex-offender registry. Magically, her name appeared on the school’s volunteer list. Suddenly, she’s able to attend school functions, be involved in school activities, and be around other CHILDREN, including my own. She was not legally allowed to have social media, so imagine my surprise when I received a Facebook friend request from her last year. There she was, smiling in her profile picture with her family. She looked like every other normal, Disney-loving, churchgoing, super-involved mother I know. However, I knew what she was accused of, arrested, served time, and CAUGHT ON VIDEO TAPE for. It became nearly impossible, for me, to separate that image from the one on her newly set-up Facebook account.
I have kept my distance but remained cordial for the past year. I didn’t know what to do or how to act. She, seemingly, just scooted into the scene as a very helpful and attentive mother. Were all the parents at school aware of her past? If so, how could her actions be, nonchalantly, overlooked? I was secretly judging all the women who quickly became her friend or welcomed her with open arms. My caring, mother-side, hurt for the children that will undoubtedly one day pay for their mother’s poor decisions before they were even born. However, the “mama bear” in me simply didn’t want to be around her or her family. Her demeanor was off-putting. She was very pushy and “in your face.” She insisted on helping with “anything and everything” and would constantly look for any reason to be at school. She would show up to work snack sales that she didn’t belong at. She was so nonchalant and guilt-free about her past, that it made me uneasy. Her behavior often led me to assume she didn’t feel any remorse, responsibility, or embarrassment for what she had once done.
Here’s where it starts getting tricky.
SHE’S NOT LEGALLY ALLOWED TO GO ON FIELD TRIPS because she can’t pass a background check. So, when she was banned from attending a recent field trip, I finally had an opportunity to question why she is still allowed to participate in activities on school grounds. Apparently, the principal’s hands were tied in the situation. Since she got her name removed from the sex-offender registry, she is free to be on school grounds. However, she’s only supposed to be she’s escorting her children from point A to point B, AND not interacting with other children. So, I started to really question how she has been so confident with her approach to volunteer with hands-on activities if the principal has told me otherwise.
Why did it take me saying something to end this?
She has finally been restricted with her participation in school activities because it took me to question it. She has unfriended me on Facebook and won’t speak to me, which is fine. However, why was she allowed to participate in all the previous activities before I stood up, asked questions, and forcibly stopped her involvement? Why was she insistent on telling me multiple times that she was allowed to do everything that any other parent was allowed to? Why was another fellow room-mother in agreement with allowing her to be able to do and be a part of everything? She’s still seen around school. She volunteers to set up and break down events. She can be on campus “around” children but not technically “helping” children. It’s still uncomfortable for me. In my eyes, her constant need and want to be at school all the time is a huge red flag.
So, what would you have done?
I’m still outraged that it fell into my hands. I’m still hurt by the parents who defend her, which is mind-blowing to me. I’m still confused about how people can insist “time” changes the fact that a 23-year-old teacher was sexually attracted to a 12-year-old. I hate that people insist that her “being on drugs” at the time, excuses her premeditated sexual assault on a child. I’m still bothered by all the things she was and is allowed to do. While I assume it is out of my control from this point, I’m curious if I’m alone in being so disgusted by these events. What would you have done in my situation? Did I “overstep” or “overreact?”
For those parents who might tell me to let it go or defend this woman … let me ask one question.
WHAT IF SHE WAS A MAN?
What if this mother was a father? What if it involved a man who molested a 12-year-old girl? Would he have received the same grace of being allowed to be on the school campus daily? If the narrative of your excuses has changed, then you really need to question yourself. The story doesn’t change. The damage is still done.