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Archive for Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Teacher charged with indecent liberties

March 20, 2007

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LHS teacher arrested for indecent liberties with minor

A Lawrence teacher is arrested for having sexual intercourse and sodomy with a minor. Enlarge video

A 24-year-old female teacher has been charged in Douglas County District Court for having sex with a minor.

The woman, who was suspended Monday from her job at Lawrence High School, has pleaded not guilty to the charges in Douglas County District Court.

Bruce Passman, Lawrence's deputy superintendent, said the district had suspended the teacher, pending an investigation, in accordance with school board policy.

The woman is in her first year of teaching at LHS, Passman said.

It is the Journal-World's policy not to name people charged with sex crimes unless there is a conviction.

LHS was not in session Monday because of spring break and school administrators could not be reached for additional comment.

"Appropriate action will be taken, pending the outcome of the investigation," Passman said. "It's a personnel matter, so confidentiality prohibits us from providing additional information at this time."

The suspect was arrested Friday and booked into Douglas County Jail.

At her first court appearance Friday, the teacher pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and two counts of criminal sodomy.

Court records show she was released from Douglas County Jail on $15,000 bond. Her preliminary hearing will be at 9:30 a.m. April 10 in District Court.

The charges filed by the district attorney's office state that the victim was age 15 at the time of the alleged offenses, which were listed between Aug. 18 and March 12.

The district attorney's office has declined further comment on the matter.

Comments

ARA 7 years, 5 months ago

Here's her name & picture, on the kansascitychannel.com, posted last night.....thanks LJWorld for being on it (like normal)

http://www.thekansascitychannel.com/news/11299183/detail.html

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leadrain 7 years, 5 months ago

Where were these teachers when I was in school? Oh, Yeah. They were probably in class WITH me.

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trinity 7 years, 5 months ago

yeah ara i wondered about the not printing the name thing-saw this on the 10:00 news last night&they had a name&pic....

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CindiCat 7 years, 5 months ago

I personally could care less who this teacher is and what she looks like. It wouldn't change how I feel about what she has "allegedly" done.

IF these charges against her prove to be true, her behavior is repulsive. She should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

BUT, lately, the female teacher's who have been charged and convicted of similar heinous crimes have been punished from one extreme to the other. One claimed that she was "too pretty" to go to jail and was given probation and yet just recently, another was sentenced to 10 years.

Will be interesting to see/read what the outcome on this case is.

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crono 7 years, 5 months ago

Is such a policy common among newspapers?

On one hand, I appreciate the commitment to protecting those who have not yet been proven guilty.

On the other hand, other sources certainly will print the name, making the policy rather moot. And this seems quite newsworthy for anyone with a connection to LHS.

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ontheotherhand 7 years, 5 months ago

I believe the LJW stated that it's there policy NOT to print names of people until they have been PROVEN guilty. KCTV 9 takes the National Inquirer approach. So, ARA, what do you mean by "being on it"?

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misseve 7 years, 5 months ago

Not only was she on channel 9 but KCTV5... Its really kind of sad to have to watch a non local news to find out things that are happening in our LOCAL schools....

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Dixie Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 5 months ago

"It is the Journal-World's policy not to name people charged with sex crimes unless there is a conviction"

This is crap. I have seen names of alleged "sex offenders" in the JW. This is a lie.

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jvolkmer 7 years, 5 months ago

If this young lady is found guilty in court will the school board and district administration have the guts to have her certificate revoked? Unless they do that she could end up right back in front of students.

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average 7 years, 5 months ago

Man, it would suck to be her if this is entirely malarkey. It would be impossible to be a teacher ever again, nationwide, if any student Googles her name. Meanwhile, if the accuser is lying, what's the most he can get as a juvenile?

I'm hoping the DA has some serious reason to believe the accusations.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 5 months ago

"KCTV 9 takes the National Inquirer approach."

I'm not a fan of Larry Moore and his crew, but its not yellow journalism to print the facts: she was arrested, and those were the charges. They are only reporting that she was charged, not that she IS GUILTY.

I think the LJWorld is making a mistake. Why not extend that policy to bank robbers or murderers. Is MURDER less heinous; does it soil your reputation less than sex? At least sex is a natural act (albeit, in limited contexts), while murder is not.

I think this is a twisted form of puritanism, unless I'm misunderstanding the motive behind the policy.

Vince2909: I understand you are joking (I hope so), but comments like yours are part of why our kids are so vulnerable in these situations. This kid should have RUN from that woman as soon as she started making her move (what kind of "move" does one make in such a situation... YUCK), but in our highly sexualized society, a kid doesn't know what to do. He's stuck in a moral quandry, unable to distinguish between what he's TOLD by his parents/God, and what he SEES all around him. As long as we joke about this kind of stuff, we help to purpetuate the culture behind the crime.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 5 months ago

Average, when you are ACCUSED of being a s.o., you are GUILTY! No trial necessary. And any skanky w&*%e or jerk can point the finger. And the DA will shudder with glee (We got another Michael Jackson right here in little ole Larryville!!!!!)as he seeks to ruin some one elses's reputation.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 5 months ago

"that are protected by the secularists. " Thanks, Mr Bill O'Reilly. Hope you sell lots of books!

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purplesage 7 years, 5 months ago

I appreciate the decency of the LJW policy which protects the names of individuals accused in this kind of case. Accusation too easily equates with guilt (just read some of the posts!). Thank-you, LJW for this high road policy - even if others are spewing the information.

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Michael Stanclift 7 years, 5 months ago

I went to HS with this teacher, I find it doubtful that she was capable of doing these acts.

But anything is possible.

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gabbo 7 years, 5 months ago

Dambudzo,

I am glad it only took until just after 8 for somebody to really crazy up the thread. This is not a fundie/secularist thing. It is about a nutty-eyed (see picture) first year teacher who started a "relationship" with the youngest of students at LHS in the first month of her employ. Wake up.

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Laura Watkins 7 years, 5 months ago

you people are UNBELIEVABLE. she has been accused, not found guilty although you have ALL rushed to declare her guilt. there is way more to this case than what has been reported-- i know that for a FACT. people lie about these sorts of things all the time (which is really unfortunate because there are millions of cases with REAL charges that go unnoticed). please stop assuming you know what's going on with this case until more information is released to the public.

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gabbo 7 years, 5 months ago

The John Jay report found 4392 reported cases of molestation by Catholic priests. I feel sorry for the thousands too embarrassed to report abuse. I would rather have secularists around my kids any day of the week.

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Centrist 7 years, 5 months ago

See it for what it is. A red-blooded 15 year old had sex with a young teacher. Very young, in this day & age, at 24.

When I was 17 I had a brief relationship with a 32 year old teacher. Nobody I knew thought that was weird at all. They were slapping my back in congratulations. What makes it weird here is that the lad was not 'of age'. Sure, technically this is a crime, so Teach needs to face the law.

But let's keep it real. Perhaps the boy's parents told on them. Perhaps he was ok with the whole thing.

When I was growing up it was completely common for 15 yo guys to be getting laid. What's changed? Oh, that's right, the teacher is a person of 'moral authority'.

Give me a break. This kid had the time of his life, I'm sure.

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gabbo 7 years, 5 months ago

Has anybody seen the South Park where Kyle's brother Ike dates his kindergarten teacher? Hilarious.

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concernedparent 7 years, 5 months ago

This is so not uncommon though. It happens all the time. It happened 10 years ago when I was in school. It was a teacher who was in HER 40's and he was 16 and 17. And it was not uncommon for her to be at partie's we all attended.

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canyon_wren 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree with ihatejohntravolta. There is a chance this woman didn't do anything--except maybe give the kid a bad grade. Kids are making up a lot of stuff these days. I agree that it seems unlikely, but hold off the guilty verdict a little, okay? Do you know (from the KC reports) that it was a male student? In our small town, a female student accused a female teacher of the same thing--proof was pretty much circumstantial, and many of the townspeople did not believe in the teacher's guilt but she did go to prison.

If this teacher is guilty, of course, she needs to be prosecuted.

As far as protecting the name of the accused, it is kind of the J-W to want to do so, though it doesn't sound like it was too hard to find out who it is. But if you ARE able to find out easily, why criticize the J-W?

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Centrist 7 years, 5 months ago

Dambudzo ... you are talking about a male priest, I assume?

What an asinine comment.

Chalk and cheese, totally different situations, and you obviously didn't get it.

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Centrist 7 years, 5 months ago

All you Bill O'Reilly followers ... get an original thought.

No-one even used the word 'secularist' until it was demonized by the Right.

Pathetic.

I bet you all believe the Enquirer and watch E Channel, don't you?!

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jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

It's fairly amazing to me how everyone seems to think they know what happened here.

1: Did they actually have sex? 2: Was it consensual? 3: What is a reasonable outcome for the case? 4: Is there a difference if the genders are different? It seems clear that many young men may be attracted to older female teachers - is it more likely to be consensual that way? 5: Was there any actual "abuse" involved?

I think the obvious reason that LJW chooses not to print names of those accused is shown by the rush to judgement of many of these posts. Our system is designed that we are supposed to be "innocent until proven guilty", but many seem to not understand or believe that.

I'm not sure why this wouldn't apply to other crimes as well though.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 5 months ago

I think LJW has this policy for accused sex offenders to try and protect the identity of the accuser.

If this teacher is guilty, I find it really wierd. I thought 15 year old boys were dorks when I was 15, and my opinion hasn't changed. Why would someone be attracted to one? I think many young teachers don't want to make the transition to being the adult. They want to still be one of the crowd, and not the figure of authority, so they buddy up with the kids. Teachers should try and be an adult friend to students, but not at the level of buddy. It's like a lot of parents nowadays. They want to be buddies with their kids and are afraid to discipline them. Parents should be available and open so the kids aren't afraid to approach them, but they shouldn't want to be "one of the guys". They lose their authority. They fail to teach boundaries, then when the real world puts boundaries on their poor babies, the babies are little monsters. Teachers who do this sort of thing are either predators or they are like these irresponsible parents. Either way they should suffer the consequences.

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jonas 7 years, 5 months ago

"Posted by ARA (anonymous) on March 20, 2007 at 6:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's her name & picture, on the kansascitychannel.com, posted last night.....thanks LJWorld for being on it (like normal)"

Yeah! Because if I can't get a look at her and see if she's hot, then how am I supposed to make an intelligent decision on what I'm supposed to think about this issue?

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lunacydetector 7 years, 5 months ago

what is this, the second lawrence teacher in the past 5 years or so? can the school district get sued ?

they'll probably throw the book at her since she isn't playboy material like that hot blonde chick in florida.

it's nice to see my tax dollars being spent in so many ways....

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Kristen Murphy 7 years, 5 months ago

She looks smug in her mug shot like "Yeah, I did it, what now?"

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 5 months ago

If LJW has this policy, it certainly hasn't been apparent in the past. They have quite freely printed the names of those accused on many occasions. If this is their policy, it must be very recent. But of course, if you want to believe they've taken the moral high ground, go ahead.

Suffer the consequences for what, dorothyhr? You don't know if she's guilty. No one on this board knows if she's guilty.

But even if she's innocent, chances are she'll spend time in prison and her life will be ruined anyway. Most juries in cases like this always believe the child, even if the story doesn't make sense. Do you think kids never lie? Even about stuff like this? Look at how vicious they are toward each other anymore. Do you really think, if a teacher gave them a bad grade or they just didn't like her, that a kid would hesitate to tell a horrible lie about her?

It happens all the time. I have no idea what the truth is, and neither do you. No one will probably ever know the truth, no matter what the results of the trial. Her life is already ruined, even if she's found innocent at trial. Because of course, there are all of you armchair judges out there ready and willing and just salivating to still believe her guilty and spread rumors accordingly.

But if this kid is lying, I hope his conscience burns him until he can't stand it any longer.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 5 months ago

By the same token, being found guilty doesn't necessarily mean they did it, either. Juries are definitely fallable.

Name a case in recent memory when a teacher accused of stuff like this wasn't found guilty. Whether they were or not.

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hilary 7 years, 5 months ago

Guys, just stop, already. I hear Anna Nicole is still dead. Discuss.

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bugmenot 7 years, 5 months ago

Um, there couldn't have been consent in this case because people under the age of 18 are legally deemed incapable of consenting to sex. That's why it's called statutory rape - even if the testosterone-raging lad said yes, the law says no.

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jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

So, despite the fact that our legal system rests on the presumption of innocence, we should all rush to judgement based on nothing but an accusation, pilch?

I believe it was designed this way because anyone can accuse anyone else of anything and everything.

If the mere accusation of a crime has negative effects on one's life and livelihood, then more people will get accused of things they haven't done by people who are angry at them and want them to suffer.

Sounds great.

We seem to be getting farther and farther away from the ideals of our founders - sometimes I wonder if we'll be able to make our way back towards them.

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Gabe Hoffman 7 years, 5 months ago

I love how people act as though this is something new.

No, this never happened before, surely not back in our parents generation. Or, maybe, just maybe, it did happen back then and people were less concerned about it then today.

As with many things, time will change most.

And no I wouldn't be suprised if she is found guilty, that she recieves jail or prison time. Let's be honest to ourselves, ugly people do not get the same perks as petty people. That is one thing that time does not change.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 5 months ago

Jafs:

Your questions about it being "consensual" or if its "abuse" are moot. IF she did it and IF she's an adult and IF the kid is not an adult then it IS both abuse and non-consensual.

Children cannot have consensual sex with adults. That's an oxymoron.

Why do you all think she was arrested? Because she "flirted" with him? They don't arrest you unless they are quite certain that SOMETHING happened (assuming that the cops are competent).

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 5 months ago

They do give names in other crimes, but in sex crimes, they are trying to protect the name of the person who was abused. Many times when you name the name of the person accused, it's easy to figure out the person who was abused. This keeps the victim from being harassed by the tabloids-like news, like Channel 5. You are right, this teacher will suffer the consequences, even if she is proven totally innocent beyond a shadow of a doubt, because she'll never be able to teach again. In that case, I think she should sue the student who accused her. That person would have to get a good education then, so they could pay and pay the reward.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 5 months ago

Why do I think she was arrested, OldEnuf?

Because the boy accused her. When it's a kid making the accusation, that's usually enough. At this point, as far as I know, it's basically a "he said, she said" thing. What evidence? Nobody has claimed that anyone else was in the room when these things supposedly occurred. And even if his friends come forward and claim that something happened, that still doesn't "prove" anything to me. Kids lie sometimes. Kids will lie for each other sometimes.

You never had a friend in high school who was willing to lie for you? And did lie for you on more than one occasion?

And yes, they DO print the names of people accused of sex crimes before they have been found guilty. Remember Richard whatshisname, the one accused of deliberately spreading HIV/AIDS to women? Didn't they print his name before he went to trial? Wasn't that recent enough for you to remember?

As I said, if this is their policy, it is a recent one.

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jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Old Enuf,

I am aware of the statutory rape laws, but it would make a difference to me. Forcible rape is different from "consensual" sex with a minor.

Also, your faith in the police is a little frightening, and shows the tendency to assume guilt.

People have not only been arrested, but convicted for crimes of which they were innocent, as we are finding out now through DNA evidence.

The presumption of innocence was supposed to protect us from the power of the state (police, DA, etc.) being abused. It is very unfortunate, in my opinion, that the default position for many is that "If you're arrested, you must have done something".

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TheEleventhStephanie 7 years, 5 months ago

Channel 5 last night said one of the charges was sodomy.

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costello 7 years, 5 months ago

KSA 21-3501(2) "Sodomy" means oral contact or oral penetration of the female genitalia or oral contact of the male genitalia; anal penetration, however slight, of a male or female by any body part or object; or oral or anal copulation or sexual intercourse between a person and an animal. ...

KSA 21-3505. Criminal sodomy. (a) Criminal sodomy is: (1) Sodomy between persons who are 16 or more years of age and members of the same sex or between a person and an animal; (2) sodomy with a child who is 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age; or (3) causing a child 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age to engage in sodomy with any person or animal. ...

KSA 21-3506. Aggravated criminal sodomy. (a) Aggravated criminal sodomy is: (1) Sodomy with a child who is under 14 years of age; (2) causing a child under 14 years of age to engage in sodomy with any person or an animal; or (3) sodomy with a person who does not consent to the sodomy or causing a person, without the person's consent, to engage in sodomy with any person or an animal, under any of the following circumstances: (A) When the victim is overcome by force or fear; (B) when the victim is unconscious or physically powerless; or (C) when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of mental deficiency or disease, or when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the effect of any alcoholic liquor, narcotic, drug or other substance, which condition was known by the offender or was reasonably apparent to the offender. ...

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Iwanttosaythis 7 years, 5 months ago

Where were these teachers at when I went to high school

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Linda Aikins 7 years, 5 months ago

Back off Mr. Ramirez. Consumer1 absolutely qualifies as hot!

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compmd 7 years, 5 months ago

I seriously question the truth of the accusation. A 24 year old female teacher in Lawrence could have any one of thousands of guys for more fun. There are plenty of smart, good looking, successful men close to her age in town.

compmd looks in the mirror

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ohdear 7 years, 5 months ago

the kid didn't accuse her. the article never said anything about that. stop jumping to conclusions!

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Kat Christian 7 years, 5 months ago

I don't like her eyes, she looks demented. Maybe they should begin giving potential teachers a battery of psychriatric exams before they are allows to teach our children.

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costello 7 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if most of us might not look demented if we found ourselves in the jail having a mug shot taken because we were accused of being sexually involved with a minor? It probably wasn't the best moment in her life.

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thomgreen 7 years, 5 months ago

I have to agree that it seems weird that she is smiling/smirking in her mugshot. I think I'd be scared shi*less if I was being arrested.

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gabbo 7 years, 5 months ago

I bet the kid's hand, arm, and shoulder are sore from all the high-fiving.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 5 months ago

My "faith in the police" is that they have enough sense to know that if they arrest her for a sex crime against a minor, she BETTER have done SOMETHING illegal. I'm not saying the jury is in, I'm just willing to assume that this is not a misunderstanding. Yes, I'd bet $1000 that she is eventually convicted of a crime.

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costello 7 years, 5 months ago

I think the smile is weird too. It doesn't really look like a smirk to me, though. It could be that's her "I'm scared shi*less" look. There is a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights quality to her expression.

What I don't understand is, if the four incidents happened between Aug. 18 (the second day of school) and Mar. 12 (4 days before she was arrested), how could a proper investigation have been done so quickly?

Was an accusation made on Mar. 12? If so, wouldn't the police need some time to investigate before making an arrest and charging her?

Or did something happen on Mar. 12 that was so obviously illegal

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skinny 7 years, 5 months ago

The LJWorld is selective in what it prints. Sometimes they print the information and sometimes they don't. It depends on who it was that was arrested.

I find it very funny that every newspaper this side of the Mississippi prints the names of those arrested along with their picture and the LJWorld half the time doesn't even print the story!!

That's why most people in Lawrence call it the Lawrence Urinal World!!

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bunnyhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Clearly, at this time none of us have enough information to do anything more than speculate about the facts of the situation leading to this young woman's arrest.

What I find most alarming here is the number of you who seem to accept that there's no harm done when adult authority figures cross sexual boundaries with children in their care OF ANY AGE.

Whether the child in question is physically mature enough to respond sexually to an adult's advances is simply not the issue! What are you saying? If it felt good, it wasn't a crime?????? We should all be able to trust 100% that our children's teachers are not going to even speak to them inappropriately of sexual matters, much less touch them in any way.

The best way to accomplish that goal is for all of us to be VERY clear about this expectation and to quickly report any behaviors that seem to cross that line. We should not expect children to negotiate this territory on their own. And, yes, high school students are still CHILDREN!

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costello 7 years, 5 months ago

sorry ... I didn't finish my last thought.

Did something happen on Mar. 12 that was so obviously illegal that a long investigation wasn't needed?

I'm not wording it well, but it seems to me that if someone accused her on Mar. 12, time would be needed to take care that the accusations were likely true and could be substantiated before she was arrested and her name and reputation dragged through the mud.

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likes_avocados 7 years, 5 months ago

People, the kid didnt accuse her. How do I know? I know the teacher accused. The boy was in love with her, he had issues and couldn't seperate fantasy from reality. I highly doubt these accusations are entirely true. His parents are willing to do ANYTHING to keep her away from him, but its not because shes a bad person or did something wrong. The boy instigated ALL OF THIS. He called her nonstop and couldn't realize that a relationship between the two could never happen. Get off the teachers back. She's a better person than any of you gullible like pricks are, who will believe anything this fine little newspaper will print. They could print that monkeys are turning blue in France and somehow there would be a debate over the truthfullness of this story.

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bunnyhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Likes-avocados,

I want nothing more than for you to be correct here. I truly hope this is nothing but a kid's fantasy.

But if that were the case (that the child was harrassing the teacher), then this new teacher would surely have sought the advise and counsel of older, more experienced teachers and her principle and vice-principle, wouldn't she? And if she had done any of those things, it's highly unlikely she'd be in the predicament that she is in today.

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costello 7 years, 5 months ago

Hi likes_avocados:

I hope to hear that she didn't do it and that she's cleared of the charges. My first reaction was that she probably didn't do it. But I have nothing to base that on. She's been charged, so the DA must believe he has enough evidence to prove his case.

I'm sorry you're hurting for your friend.

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costello 7 years, 5 months ago

bunnyhawk: Seeking the "advice and counsel of older, more experienced teachers and her principal and vice-principal" wouldn't necessarily have saved her from "the predicament that she is in today." People can make accusations whether you seek advice and counsel or not. You almost make it sound like those who fail to seek advice and counsel deserve to be accused of serious crimes.

IF she didn't do it, and IF she's exonerated, and IF she saves her career, she'll probably never be the teacher she might have been. This has to be traumatic for her if she's innocent.

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bunnyhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

costello,

You're right. People do indeed make accusations against teachers all the time---but they rarely result in criminal charges. Seeking advice and counsel from her colleagues might not have prevented this situation---but IF all that has happened is what Likes-avocados described, it most certainly would have helped her avoid her current predicament. For example, if she had notified her department head about the boy's alleged harrassment of her, then law enforcement would be addressing the boy's behaviors, not hers.

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machiavelli 7 years, 5 months ago

"When there is no more cocaine left in hell Anna Nicole will walk the earth"

Cocaine's a helluva drug.

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costello 7 years, 5 months ago

bunnyhawk:

This comment was posted yesterday in another thread (http://www2.ljworld.com/forums/stories/422128/):

"Posted by edgeofbaldwin (anonymous) on March 19, 2007 at 7:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"The kid was suicidal, manipulative and has been a problem for this teacher since she came to LHS....I sympathize with her, as I know the school district was not being helpful during a number of situations this fall. I hope they look at it from all sides."

If edgeofbaldwin is to be believed, the teacher did look to her administration for help. If that's true, it should be documented and might help her defense.

I guess the lesson is "document everything."

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heysoos 7 years, 5 months ago

Too bad she isn't hot. I could use some new material.

Dabra LaFave and Pamela Rogers have gotten me through a cold night before!

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heysoos 7 years, 5 months ago

I mean, seriously...who could tell this woman no if they were 15?

How about you dimbudzo?

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coolmom 7 years, 5 months ago

children are not "willing". children do not on a whole consistantly make good choices and as such if it concerns staying out late, bed times, choices in sexual partners, what to eat for dinner or whatever trusted adult guidance needs to be provided. if she is indeed guilty she should go to prison. if not the child should be sent to a place where they can recieve help.

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NLowrider 7 years, 5 months ago

I go to Lawrence High School.

From what I understood is the kids mother has some loose screws and she has taken things overboard because her son developed and unhealthy relationship and fell in love with the teacher.

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justsomewench 7 years, 5 months ago

"From what I understood is the kids mother has some loose screws"

Speaking of enforcer... Wouldn't it be ironic?

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 5 months ago

Because it was the "in" thing at the time, I'm sure there was many a priest who was falsely accused at the time. This is not to say that many of them weren't guilty, as well.

Evidence? What evidence? If no one saw anything, what else is there except his story and hers? Oh, yeah, maybe a few witnesses who will say, "well, he was in her classroom a lot after school" or something like that.

No, I'm not saying that we should doubt everyone who says they're a victim. Nor should we crucify every person who is accused. Out in the real world, if it was two adults involved, a case like this would be damned difficult to prosecute or prove. Rape is a different matter, as there's usually physical evidence involved.

But when the victim is considered a child, it seems that it doesn't take nearly as much "evidence" to convict someone.

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Sigmund 7 years, 5 months ago

I can't help but think that the very same people who are rationalizing this behavior, minimizing its impact, and asking that we not prejudge the teacher in this case, are the very same people who believe that all catholic priest are child molesters and showed no such restraint then, nor insisted upon innocence until proved guilty, when religious teachers were similarly accused.

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compmd 7 years, 5 months ago

FTFA at KMBC: "A first-year high school teacher has been suspended after being accused of having sex with a minor, officials said."

So ohdear, who can accuse her? If not the student ("victim") then who? If its even true, then is it someone he told? At that point the reliability is completely out the window. "I heard that so-and-so slept with our teacher" is not suffcient for an arrest.

MrMister, in light of your spelling of the word "finish" I must say "Oxi" to your request to attempt Greek.

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hs_reader 7 years, 5 months ago

I go to LHS, though I didn't have her for class I've seen her in the halls. This teacher probably did talk to other teachers and I know she didn't have the easiest time adjusting to the job, students aren't exactly angels to new inexperienced teachers. I won't believe that she is 100% guilty of anything until they release proof, the delusional 15 year old boy and his mom seems like the problem. And the picture most likely came from her teacher id, not a mug shot. This is someone's reputation, remember that, most of these posts are as immature or even more so than what I'll hear around school next week. Grow up, get a life, and maybe a conscience, especially all of you pervs. This is happening here, not in some tabloid. I'm glad we have a rumor mill to spew out false information, or course we're not talking about a real person whose life will be effected forever by this.

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MrMister 7 years, 5 months ago

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 5 months ago

Rationalizing WHAT behavior? There's no proof yet that ANY such behavior even occurred.

Of course we'll never really know. I just tend to believe the teacher in this case. And if the boy didn't have her arrested, his parents must have had something to do with it.

Are you kidding? The police and DAs arrest and charge people all the time with little or no evidence, or totally circumstantial evidence.

I would say, considering the apparent explosion of such stories on the national news, that this has become the "in" thing to accuse teachers of.

Yes, some of them, like the blond, female teacher who posed mostly nude for pics and had them online, and bragged about what she was doing...well, guilty as charged. I just don't think that anything happened here.

I guess none of you ever had a crush on a teacher when you were in high school, and made up lame excuses to call them or talk to them while at school, or anything. There's nothing quite as persistent as a teenager, male OR female, with raging hormones.

And when you tell them no, or it's not appropriate, or to go away, then they get angry and want to get even. It happened here to a male teacher. A girl accused him of sexual advances. Got him fired, by golly, and he was on his way to court on charges. While he was awaiting trial, she admitted that she made it all up. She had been the one to make the advances, and he rebuffed her. The last straw was when she asked him out on a date, and he told her no for the umpteenth time. She went into a rage and decided to accuse him of something that never happened.

What did the authorities do to her? Absolutely nothing. She was 17, and way old enough to know better.

What happened to the teacher? He got fired. He had to move away, because of course there were still all the holier-than-thous around who thought he must still be guilty, even after the girl admitted what she'd done.

He and his wife and family moved away to parts unknown. He was probably never able to get another teaching job, even though the charges were dropped and he was never convicted of anything.

Because we all know that just the accusation is enough to ruin a life.

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Sigmund 7 years, 5 months ago

Circumstantial evidence is evidence and is often better evidence than eyewitness testimony. DA's do not charge people all of the time with little or no evidence. Judges don't like it, defense attorneys don't like it, but most of all juries don't like it. Really it would be a waste of time and there is no advantage with plenty of good solid cases to keep everyone busy. There is simply little to be gained by manufacturing weak cases when there are so many solid cases to prosecute. I am no fan of this DA, but I sincerely doubt he would stoop to the level of a Mike Nifong.

People are charged with a crime when there is evidence to believe a crime was committed, the person charged committed the crime, and the prosecutors believe they have enough of it (circumstantial or otherwise) that they can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. It is at trial where we find out if they are correct.

What do you want the system to do, start doubting the victims or require them to bring in their own DNA swabs? I don't think that is going to go over well.

When I discussed "rationalizing behavior" I was referring to those that believe she is guilty, but that it is no big deal. Just a little slap and tickle extra credit home work in human sexuality. If you are not in that group, ignore my criticism. My broader point was where were you when every priest in the country was a suspected child molester? But I am sure you made a similar spirited defense on their behalf.

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Bill Chapman 7 years, 5 months ago

It is very nice to know that most peoples education doesn't count for much anymore.

America has a "INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GULITY" system of law. - Anyone condemning the teacher in their post must have been a 4.0 honor roll student (that's' called sarcasm for those of you who didn't pass English in the 5th grade).

The reason most RESPONSABLE news media don't print names in inflammatory cases has merit : The name of the accused can often lead to the victims' name (leading to media/peer pressure against/for the accused, possible increase of mental/psychological problems of the victim, and causing the case to moved to a different jurisdiction due to prejudice).

Again - it is so very nice to know that MY tax dollars went towards educating ?some? of the HIGHLY educated people posting here. - That was another use of sarcasm (in case you forgot from the last time).

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jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

An unproven accusation should not result in the firing of anyone, in any profession.

If what crazy reports is accurate, it's a tragedy, and should be prevented in the future.

And, again, the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" should mean something.

That's it for me.

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costello 7 years, 5 months ago

hs_reader says: "And the picture most likely came from her teacher id, not a mug shot."

When I referred to a mug shot, I meant the pictures included with the story at thekansascitychannel.com. Sure looks like a mug shot to me. I'd say it's a pretty unusual picture for a teacher id. Do all of the LHS teacher ids have a front and profile picture of the teacher's face? With a concrete block wall in the background?

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kansasnative 7 years, 5 months ago

This entire situation is tragic for everyone. My son has her for a teacher this year. Not only is it tragic for the 15 year old, the teacher, their families, the school district etc... but now the entire town is disturbed by this. I have talked to my son at length about this and now he understands why I don't trust ANYONE because you just NEVER KNOW. He is shocked and in disbelief but anxious to see what happens.

I am a believer in Innocent Until Proven Guilty but as a parent of one of her students the stage has been set for those annoying "what if" situations. I hope that everyone does their part (the victim, the accused, the police, the school district, the DA's office and the community) and can see this through and withhold judgment. It will be an interesting next few months.

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costello 7 years, 5 months ago

Well said, kansasnative.

I have a 15-year-old son going into LHS next year. Despite the cheering from some of the less mature posters here, I'd just as soon none of my son's teachers makes it her business to give him an education in intimacy.

As you said, the trust level is damaged by even the allegations. I do hope the matter can be resolved with minimum damage to the innocent.

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kansasnative 7 years, 5 months ago

Let me rephrase then to clarify.....

The whole town including but not limited to those who do care, follow the news, pay taxes, have general interest in, have children that have attended, will attend or do and/or may attend a school where their children are/can/ or will be exposed to any but not necessarily all teachers, personnel, parents, backers etc. etc. etc. that may or may not invite such a problem that may cause harm intentional or not to our children.

It does effect the community as a whole since it is publicly known all across Kansas. If they don't care, they should.

I'm not naive, I'm just a parent and lifelong resident of Lawrence that does care and now has more of a reason to be concerned and anxious to see the outcome.

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pbradford 7 years, 5 months ago

I don't think Kansasnative is naive at all. In fact, that comment is right on target. Unless we educate our kids on what is NOT OKAY and what IS OKAY from a figure of "authority" then these types of incidents will continue to happen. I am not saying this teacher is guilty, because we must wait for the proof, but whether she IS or she ISN'T, is not the problem here. The problem here is IGNORING the fact that sexual abuse of children DOES EXIST and not just in Lawrence, Kansas. If you are not affected by this story, you either don't have children or just don't care. Plain and simple.

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pbradford 7 years, 5 months ago

Hawk, I wouldn't know whether Lawrence is a laughing stock or not, because I don't live there. But if you'll take your head out of the sand and look around, you'll see this type of thing going on EVERYWHERE these days. What a shame for our innocent children. When did school cease being a safe haven? I don't know either.

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kansasnative 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm not laughing - is anyone else laughing? I understand your point Hawk, I do. I laugh at a lot of things that Lawrence does but I love it here - it is home, I feel safe here and want to raise my family here. I also laugh at what happens in KC and it's burbs etc...but it is someone's home also. This situation certainly isn't to be laughed at. This is what a forum is about and I appreciate your opinions.

Lawrence isn't singled out here it just shows that no country, state, city, town or neighborhood - no matter how big or small is immune from this. Heck, little ol' Tonganoxie is taking a beating right now for some of their school employees.

It is just a sad sad story that now adds ONE MORE thing for parents to worry about (if we weren't worried about it already). If it's not teachers, its coaches, priests, family friends, neighbors, employers, politicians - you name it.

Like I said - the stage is set now for the "What If's" What if my child is asked to stay after school to finish a test? What if they are asked to come in early for extra attention in a subject? Now, we just don't know. I don't like feeling this way and it shouldn't be this way.

Have a good day and again, I appreciate your opinion.

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pbradford 7 years, 5 months ago

Well said Kansasnative. Well said.

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marxisnotdead 7 years, 5 months ago

Kansasnative is correct. This sets the stage for a Great apocolyptic feverish language to ferment in Kansas. Fear of the unknown can certainly provide an impetus for more laws etc to control, control, control. The reality of it is that all those roles listed are simply filled by human beings and their acts are inexcusable. We will hope that our judicial system will take care of the issue. We'll wait and see what the "fear mongers" will present to a Kansas legislator. Let's see what whacked out new legislation they can contrive that burden local municipalities in Kansas chasing the fear of the unknown. Personally I believe, at least two out of the three listed in the story should have the recalled cat food slipped into their diet.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 5 months ago

Of course we should realize that sexual abuse of kids perpetrated by teachers exits. It shouldn't be trivialized.

At the same time, kids who get angry at an adult, any adult, (even a parent or teacher) could at some point make a false accusation against said adult. And while we shouldn't ignore the problem of sexual abuse of kids, we also shouldn't ignore the problem of adults being instantly crucified just by an accusation.

So how do we balance it? How do we protect kids against abuse, and at the same time protect adults from false accusations?

My main problem with the whole thing is that every time an adult comes under fire, the majority of people seem to automatically assumed that the accusations are true.

How do they defend themselves against that?

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Dixie Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

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jcantspell 7 years, 5 months ago

got it bad! got it bad! got it bad!

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hs_reader 7 years, 5 months ago

costello, I hadn't found the picture, and yes she looks creepily smug. I guess I'm just one of the people who are trying to take the innocent until proven guilty approach. I'm in Wichita right now, and I was very surprised when my aunt mentioned it after she'd seen it on the news. So yeah, I think a lot of the state is paying attention to this.

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costello 7 years, 5 months ago

hs_reader: Just click on the link in the post by ARA on March 20, 2007 at 6:35 a.m. It's one of the first comments about the article above.

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costello 7 years, 5 months ago

Ok, I'm sorry. I misread your post, hs_reader. You already found the photos. :-)

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