True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.
***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***
BLOG POST #251: Research on an incident involving a middle school teacher.
This school bullying case differs from most. In this true-crime case, there were several bullies in a classroom tormenting a student—including the teacher.
You may have seen the video on TV back in 2012. Several students at a middle school in Washington State harassed and bullied a student while the teacher watched.
For approximately fifteen minutes, students dragged the boy around the classroom by his arms and feet, they stuffed him under desks, pulled off his socks to mark-up his feet, and stuffed a sock in his mouth. You can easily find cell phone video of the incident on the internet. Be advised, the video may be upsetting. Classroom Bullies
In a letter to the school district attorney regarding the incident, the teacher said,
…a few other boys began wrestling and horseplaying with one another.”
He went on to say,
[the victim] absolutely went along with the horseplay and never once complained or instructed anyone to stop.”
At certain points during the February incident, the teacher took part in the bullying. In April, the school district placed the teacher on a 10-day suspension without pay for inappropriate conduct.
Neither the school nor the family reported the incident until July, when the local law enforcement’s Special Assault Unit received a phone call from the victim’s family’s attorney.
In September, the school district held a meeting with the eight families of the students involved. Most families declined to attend the meeting.
Nine months after the incident, the investigation resulted in no charges against anyone. The press release stated it was unacceptable conduct in a classroom, it’s not criminal conduct under the law.
In December 2012, the school district sent the state superintendent of public instruction a complaint letter regarding the teacher’s inappropriate conduct in February.
Four months later, the state agency reviewed the matter. The review took eighteen more months until they suspended the teacher’s teaching certificate for six months beginning in 2015.
A quick check on the school district website shows the teacher is still teaching. In fact, he’s one of the online instructors for distance learning.
The piece missing for me in all the information I found on this incident was any mention of the students’ consequences. Aside from the teacher’s actions, the students’ behavior had to have violated school policies.
What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about true-crime and books.
Do you know of a crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.
Thanks for reading!
Source: State of Washington Supreme Court, State of Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction, HuffPost, Q13 Fox News
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