When I was researching for this article, I realized something. There are a whole lot of teachers who cross the line in a myriad of ways. The fact that I actually had to narrow things down for this list was really disconcerting. Earlier this year, American Ted Cummins was arrested for kidnapping one of his former students. He had previously been fired for having a relationship with the fifteen-year old girl whom he kidnapped. The plan? To head south of the border and live happily ever after? Yikes. But Ted was just the tip of the iceberg, it seems. I found countless news articles about teachers who fondled students, harassed them, bullied them, and punished them inappropriately. I wonder what kind of screening process many of these schools use. These bad apples give a bad name to countless other selfless and inspiring individuals who shape young minds without harming them.
15. Alexandria Vera Was Impregnated By Her 13-year-old Student
This teacher takes the cake because she actually ended up pregnant with her victim’s child. On top of that, her victim happened to be only thirteen-years-old. Vera Alexandria, a teacher from Texas, apparently engaged in a nine-month relationship with the young boy. They first started talking outside of class on Instagram. She claims that she rebuffed his ‘advances’ repeatedly but the two eventually started seeing each other and engaged in sexual intercourse. She also claimed that the student’s parents were totally on board with the two dating. Somehow, I highly doubt that. And if that is the case, then they need their heads examined.
14. Pamela Smart Asked Students to Kill Her Husband
She’s probably the most famous educator on this list. Pamela Smart was convicted and sentenced to life without parole for her part in her husband’s murder. She was accused of orchestrating her husband’s murder. At the time of the murder, she was in her early twenties and was able to befriend certain students quite easily. Some are quick to point out that Smart’s trial was anything but fair. The media was all over the case of the ‘murderous seductive teacher’. If you’re at all interested in the case and want to learn more, HBO has a great documentary on the subject called ‘Captivated’.
13. Mary Beth Haglin Was “Seduced” By Her Student
Mary Beth Haglin is a real piece of work. She’s another substitute teacher who was charged for being sexually involved with a student. But there’s something different about her case. She claims that she’s actually a victim. She even went on Dr. Phil to tell her story. She told the TV personality that the student she was accused of sexually exploiting had actually seduced her. She alleges that the boy, six years her junior, was persistent with his advances. Girl, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to get with him. You’re his teacher. If you really wanted to be in a relationship, you could have waited until he was no longer a student at the school. In Iowa, the law stipulates that being sexually involved with a student (over the age of 18) is not allowed unless it’s more than 30 days post-grad. Somehow, that still seems wrong.
12. Jennifer McLeod Was Grooming A Young Student to be her Boyfriend
A substitute teacher at a Christian high school, Jennifer McLeod engaged in inappropriate behavior with a student. The alleged incidents involving McLeod and the student in question are really bizarre. She apparently told the student that had she been younger she would have wanted him as a boyfriend. She even approached him and requested a kiss at one point in the school year. It makes you wonder what the criteria for hiring substitute teachers is for that school. McLeod is clearly a predator and it’s hard to imagine that her interactions with the student at the Christian school was her first offense.
11. Sarah Fowlkes Cheated on her husband with a student
Yes. That’s Sarah Fowlkes’ mug shot. How you can be smiling that wide when you’ve just been arrested is beyond me. Fowlkes got involved with a young male student while still married. So why is she beaming in that mug shot? She actually turned herself in after attending her own birthday bash. Photos of Fowlkes all show her smiling wide and looking like she’s loving life. It turns out that she’s facing a potential hefty sentence for her alleged crimes. I bet she won’t be smiling for much longer. I really wonder what the heck was going through her mind.
10. Douglas Le Catfished His Students To Send Him Explicit Pictures
Have you ever seen ‘Catfish’? That movie blew my mind. It was unnerving – and sad – to think that someone would spend so much time pretending to be someone else over the Internet. Douglas Le, a teacher in Northern California, did just that. The educator, in his early twenties, assumed the identity of ‘Rae Pelletier’ online. Le used the persona to coerce young boys – who also happened to be his students – to send him explicit photos of themselves. Guys, don’t blindly assume a porno actress is wanting to see your dick pics. It may just be your chemistry teacher on the other end.
9. Pamela Sylvia Stigger Was Caught Getting Busy With A Student in Her Car
Pamela Sylvia Stigger actually got caught red-handed with one of her students in the wee hours of the morning. The two were apparently getting busy in her car. How did she defend her actions upon getting caught? She claimed she had been seduced by her student. Any adult who finds themselves getting ‘seduced’ by a teenager needs a serious mental check but I doubt that’s what was going on. It turns out that the police caught the two after someone reported a car that was ‘obstructing traffic’. Well, that’s a perfect way to be discreet. And, for that matter, why was she was driving a student home in the middle of the night?
8. Kelsey Leigh Gutierrez Had Relations With Multiple Students
An anonymous source alerted the police to what they thought was suspicious behaviour on the part of Kelsey Leigh Gutierrez. The teacher has been accused of being sexually involved with two different students. Gutierrez admitted to being sexually involved with the students. There is apparently loads of evidence on the phones of the individuals involved. The school where she worked says that when they caught wind of her inappropriate interactions with students, she was promptly fired. Gutierrez was a fairly new teacher and it looks like her teaching career will have been quite short-lived. Getting sexually involved with students is a really crappy career move.
7. Oliver Sohngen Payed Minors to Exploit Them
I think music education is so important. It’s important to impart knowledge on the young folks of today and creative knowledge is just as important as math and science. That’s why it was so awful to come across this story. Last month, Oliver Sohngen, who founded a music school in NYC, was arrested. He has been accused of purchasing sex from minors, none of them were students. He was eventually caught by an undercover police officer who was posing as a fifteen-year-old girl. Sohngen’s pimp also happened to have his info stored in his phone. Whoops. Clearly, they weren’t that worried about discretion.
6. Sean Shaynak Sent A Snapchat Of His Genitals To A Student
At least Sean Shaynak pled guilty to the charges laid against him. That meant his victims were spared a long, arduous trial. Shaynak, who taught math and science, abused several female pupils. He even kidnapped one of them and brought her to a nude beach. He was eventually caught because he decided to send a Snapchat of his genitals to one of his students. The brave young girl told her mom and dad who promptly contacted the authorities. When the police began investigating Shaynak it turned out that he was a prolific communicator and had sent tons of pictures and other media files to several other students. He even sent photos of himself dressed as a French maid. Ew.
5. Jeremy Forrest Ran Away With A Minor
Not all teachers are horrible criminals. Far from it, in fact. We just hear a lot more about these deviant individuals. Jeremy Forrest is one teacher who definitely made the news. In 2013, the English teacher abducted one of his students and the two ran away to France. The two had formed a relationship and had engaged in sexual activity before running away to another country. Forrest’s victim says that she was very much infatuated with the older man. She doesn’t see herself as a victim, even now. Despite her feelings, it’s pretty clear that teacher-student relationships – especially involving minors – are just wrong.
4. Stacey Lockett Handed Out Inappropriate “Awards”
So, this teacher didn’t sexually abuse her students, but she definitely acted inappropriately. The whole thing is puzzling actually. What Stacey Lockett did has been making the Internet rounds lately and I find it baffling. Why would a teacher give these kinds of offensive awards to her students? It’s not funny at all. Above, you can see one apparent award that was given to a student saying she was ‘most likely to blend in with white people’. Another student alleges that Lockett awarded her with the ‘most likely to become a terrorist’ award. What was Lockett thinking? She’s been suspended for her actions and her future as a teacher is uncertain.
3. Melvin Sprowson Kept A Student Captive For One Month
Melvyn Sprowson was found guilty on multiple charges, including kidnapping. He continues to claim that the relationship between him and the minor was consensual. The young girl was not a student of his since she was sixteen and Sprowson taught Kindergarten. He found her on Craigslist and ended up keeping her captive for more than a month. Sprowson said, during his trial, that he never intended any harm. It sounds like a load of BS if you ask me. Regardless of his intentions, what he did was obviously wrong. Sprowson ended up representing himself at his trial and that tells you everything you need to know about him.
2. John Rodenburg Tried To Kidnap A Student
Math teacher, John Rodenburg was arrested earlier this year. He’s another one on this list whose charges include kidnapping. News articles written about the case state that it’s not known whether the young woman who was taken by Rodenburg was a student of his or not. That doesn’t really matter, though. Rodenburg took a girl across state lines with the intention of engaging in sexual acts with her. It’s alarming to think that he was a teacher and taught countless young girls for several years prior to this incident. He was even coaching cross-country. Yuck. What a super gross individual.
1. Dean Bethea Tried to Woo A Student With Shakespeare
We’re not sure what Dean Bethea was thinking when he attempted to woo a student using Shakespeare. No high school student likes Shakespeare. When you’re a teen, it’s all boring AF. Bethea apparently first gave his targeted victim alcohol, and then tried to use Shakespeare quotes on her. His attempt at seduction occurred at the MoMA. Bethea had dated the student’s older sister and explained to the young woman that he really wanted to be with her. During the teacher’s trial, the young woman explained that she was not at all flattered by his advances. She was totally creeped out and rightly so.
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