Entries in Teacher (52)


Body of Missing Teacher Found

New Orleans Police(NEW ORLEANS) -- The body of missing teacher Terrilyn Monette was found today in her car, which was discovered submerged in a Louisiana bayou, New Orleans officials said Saturday.

Monette's body was found in the driver's seat of the vehicle, according to ABC News affiliate WGNO-TV in New Orleans.

Monette, 26, has been missing since March, when she was last seen leaving a popular bar early in the morning hours. No suspects have been named in connection with her disappearance.

Her family, based in Long Beach, Calif., have been traveling to New Orleans for months in an attempt to bring more attention to her disappearance. On Friday they held a prayer vigil and asked that the FBI be brought in to handle the case.

Previously Monette's mother, Toni Enclade, had asked authorities to widen the search to a national level to find her daughter.

On Saturday, divers revisited a bayou that had already been searched, after sonar picked up an object in the water

State Rep. Austin Badon, who helped to organize many of the underwater searches in the area, was also there.

"It was not the outcome we had looked for, but we did find her. It allowed the family to have some sense of relief and closure," Badon told WGNO-TV.

After hearing that the car was being pulled out, Monette's family gathered to watch as the teacher's car was pulled to dry land.

"I don't understand why it took them so long to find her car," Enclade told The Times-Picayune. "This is supposedly one of the first places they would have checked. I'm just overwhelmed. It doesn't make sense."

At the time of her disappearance, Monette had recently become a second-grade teacher at the Woodland West Elementary school in Jefferson Parish.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ex-Cheerleader Engaged to Former Student in Sex Scandal

Cody York/Facebook(CINCINNATI) -- A former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and teacher who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a teenaege boy, is now engaged to him, her former student.

Sarah Jones, 26, pleaded guilty in October 2012 to sex abuse as a result of her relationship with Cody York, who was 17 when the couple started having sex.

On Thursday, the couple posted photos on their Facebook pages announcing their engagement. Jones’ attorney Eric Deters confirmed that the couple was engaged.

Jones pleaded guilty last year for having sex with York when he was 17 years old. Photos on her Facebook page show the pair announcing their engagement.

Jones met York when she was a 9th grade teacher at Dixie Heights High School.

“There’s absolutely nothing prohibiting [the victim] and Sarah from being together,” Deters told ABC News affiliate WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.

Now 19, York is attending Northern Kentucky University according to his Facebook page. Jones is currently a paralegal for her attorney.

After pleading guilty, Jones was sentenced to five years probation and can never apply for another teaching position.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


NYC Teacher Offers Suicide Note Writing Class

Stockbyte(NEW YORK) -- Philosophy professor Simon Critchley from New York City's New School said he believes that the only way to really learn how to live is to prepare to die.

So, as part of a larger theatrical installation this spring called School of Death, he offered a suicide note writing workshop to anyone who was interested in appreciating its literary art form.

The notes studied ranged from the terse and emotionally conflicted -- "Dear Betty: I hate you, Love George" -- to the narcissistic: "Now you will appreciate me."

One man, before killing himself, wrote on the back of his wife's photograph after she had run away with his brother, "I present the girl I thought I married. Always remember, I loved you once and died hating you."

"The worst thing that can befall us is to die alone," said Critchley, 53. "And the suicide note in some strange way is not to die alone. It's always addressed to someone. It's a failed attempt at communication."

He said that if people were more comfortable talking about death, there might be fewer suicides.

"We talk about taxes, but death is kind of obscene," he said. "When faced with the actual issue -- for example the Terri Schiavo case -- we don't know what to do, emote or gloat."

The workshop, which was first reported by The New York Times, was advertised through social media. Those who signed up, ages 20 to 50, analyzed some of history's most famous last words, those of Adolph Hitler, Virginia Woolf and Kurt Cobain.

Suicide notes are part of the "fantasy to get our last word," said Critchley. "Saying goodbye also says how much someone means to you."

Novelist Woolf, just before drowning herself in 1941, writes to her husband, Leonard Woolf, that she is "going mad again" and hearing voices. "I can't fight any longer," she wrote. "...I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been."

Hitler writes in 1945 from the Berlin bunker where he and lover Eva Braun took cyanide: "I have chosen death in order to escape the terrible situation of disgrace I am currently in. ...Things were going just as planned before, but little did I know it would backfire on me."

In 1994, Kurt Cobain, borrowing liberally from songwriter Neil Young, writes with great affection to his wife, Courtney Love, and daughter Frances: "I am too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don't have the passion anymore, and so remember, it's better to burn out than fade away." He then shot himself in the head.

Critchley's class may seem macabre, but some experts say it is refreshing.

"Morbidity has become fashionable again," said Elke Weesjes, founder and editor- in-chief of the United Academics Journal of Social Science. She is currently working on a journal with the theme "Morbid Curiosity," covering topics such as post-mortem photography, taxidermy and skull worship.

"Before 1880 people butchered their own animals; death was laid out in the parlor before the whole family," said Weesjes, 33. "People who moved to America were fleeing death one way or another -- fleeing the Holocaust, pogroms and famine. We have created a false society and island away from disasters. Death is not part of our everyday life anymore."

Though Weesjes did not attend Critchley's class she said, "Maybe it's good to have a smile on your face and laugh about it, but actually talking about it is a very good thing."

"The Western world is about to get ready to bury the biggest generation in history – the baby boomers," she said. "It only makes sense to start thinking about it. … Denying death can't be healthy."

Critchley said that he initially feared people would think the class was a joke, but he added that students, who had to write their own suicide notes, were, "earnest and engaged."

Wrote one woman: "I am so filled with love it is still all too much to bear. I cannot find my way. The world is all wrong and although I withstood the worst of it, I lost out."

But another was less emotional: "I am sorry, mostly to my dog. Love, Lauren. P.S. Please don't bury me in Los Angeles."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Student Rants at Teacher in Viral Video

Hemera Technologies/ThinkStock(DUNCANVILLE, Texas) -- A Texas high school student’s rant against his teacher has gone viral on YouTube, prompting the district to look at its teaching procedures.

“If you would just get up and teach us instead of handing ‘em a packet, yo. There’s kids in here that don’t learn like that. … They need to learn face-to-face,” Duncanville High School student Jeff Bliss said in the YouTube video recorded by a classmate. “You want kids to come to class? You want them to get excited? You gotta come in here, you gotta make ‘em excited. To change him and make him better, you gotta touch his freakin’ heart. You can’t expect a kid to change if all you do is just tell him.”

Bliss, 18, was kicked out of class by his history teacher after a discussion escalated between the two. Bliss said that a test required three days to complete, but his teacher demanded that the class complete the test within two days.

In the YouTube video, Bliss was told repeatedly by his teacher to leave the classroom. However, as he made his way to the exit, he continued to tell his teacher that her pedagogical approach was wrong.

“You gotta take this job seriously,” Bliss said in the YouTube video. “This is the future of this nation. And when you come in here like you did last time and make a statement about how, ‘This is my paycheck,’ indeed it is, but this is my country’s future and my education.”

Bliss told ABC News that he wished he’d delivered his message in a different manner.

“As far as my attitude was during the video, that could have been taken better in a better manner,” he said. “But at the same time, I realize we all have our spur-of-the-moments.”

Duncanville School District Chief Communications Officer Tammy Kuykendall told ABC News she understood Bliss’ view.

“He makes a number of valid statements about how schools across America need to change, and it is creating a conversation,” she said. “We have focus groups, student panels, so we listen to students and we will continue to listen.”

Kuykendall added that she does not condemn Bliss.

“I feel it is important to share [that] we don’t blame this student or think he did something wrong,” she said. “There are other ways to go about sharing concerns happening in a classroom. Administrators need to know about that. He makes a number of valid statements.”

Bliss’s mother, Rhonda Bliss, said she is not upset with her son and respects his stance.

“I have told the people I support what he did,” she said. “I am an educator, too, and I understand his passion and I understand his concerns, and I support what he did.”

She said Bliss’s tirade was not specifically aimed at one person alone.

“It wasn’t to the teacher,” she said. “It was to address the bigger issue which is education.”

As for Bliss, he said he hopes his declaration inspires others to take action.

“I’m hoping that maybe this sparks something up in other people, teachers, and parents, and even administrators, as well,” he said. “I’m hoping that maybe they, themselves stand up and also demand more. I hope they go to their sons’ schools or school board meetings and speak and see what’s going on in the schools.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Virginia Teens Admit to Attempting to Poison Teacher

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEWPORT NEWS, Va.) -- Two Virginia middle school students are facing felony charges of attempted poisoning after they allegedly spiked their teacher's tea at least twice with hand sanitizer.

The two 13-year-old male students, who have not been named, were removed from Hines Middle School in Newport News, Va., and placed in an alternative school after confessing, officials said. The attempted poisoning was brought to the school's attention by student witnesses on Jan. 29, who contacted the school's resource officer and assistant principal, according to Michelle Price with Newport News Public Schools.

"An investigation was started by the administrators at Hines," Price told ABC News. "This usually involves interviewing students involved, and the ones who came forward, and talking to the teacher. The students did then confess to putting some hand sanitizer in the teacher's beverage."

The school's officer then contacted the Newport News police department's Special Victims Unit, which conducted a thorough investigation, police said in a statement. On March 6, the two teens were each charged with one count of attempted poisoning, a class three felony.

The two students were removed, according to Price, and recommended for long-term suspensions. They were then referred to a disciplinary review committee, which involves three school board members, who upheld the long-term suspension.

"It's the board's philosophy that all students should be offered some sort of educational experience," Price said. "They are with students who have been convicted of or are facing charges."

The two students were sent to a separate community school in January, and will not be able to attend any other comprehensive school in the district during the police investigation, according to Price.

Price said that the 66-year-old teacher, who does not want to be named, was unaware that anything had been put in her tea until she was told, and missed a few days of teaching when she went to see her doctor.

"She did not require hospitalization. Aside from few days she's missed she's been teaching," Price said. "We don't believe a lot of it was ingested, and we believe it may have happened twice."

Hines Middle School does not stand out as a problem school in the district, and most of the problems at the school can be characterized as "preteen and teen drama," according to Price.

If the accused teens are found guilty they will have to remain in the community school, she said.

A class three felony carries a punishment of not less than five years nor more than 20 years in prison and a fine of not more than $100,000 in Virginia, according to police. It is unclear how the teens plead, as Newport News juvenile court does not share information pertaining to juveniles.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


New Orleans Schoolteacher Missing After Leaving Bar

Click to name Right: Terrilyn Monnette on the night she disappeared. (Images Courtesy of Amy Hoyle)(NEW ORLEANS) -- New Orleans police and family members are frantically searching for an elementary school teacher who has been missing since last Saturday.

Twenty-six-year-old Terrilynn Monnette was last seen with friends at a bar in the Lakeview section of the Crescent City last Friday evening. She left the bar around 4 o’clock Saturday morning with a male acquaintance,  reported ABC’s New Orleans affiliate WGNO, telling her friends that she was going to take a nap in her car before driving home because she’d had a few drinks.

The bar’s general manager told WGNO that the two talked in the parking lot “for a little while,” but the bar’s video surveillance showed they left in separate cars. “He went one way, she went the other,” the bar manager said.

An eyewitness has told police that he saw the missing teacher with an unidentified man in the bar’s parking lot, according to information on the missing person’s flyer that Monnette’s family has been distributing.

Police detectives are searching for Monnette’s car -- a black Louisiana-registered Honda Accord with license plate number WUN494, according to the missing person’s flyer.

They are also looking at area surveillance tapes, including one from an adjacent bank, reported WGNO.  

Thursday morning a handful of people fanned out in the area near the bar, where the 5 feet 8 inch 180-pound woman was last seen. Monnette’s longtime friend and sorority sister Lezette Montion, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, has taken time off to help with the search.

”I have the experience to deal with land navigation and hunting -- and that’s kind of in a sense what we are doing,” Montion told ABC News. “We’re hunting for clues. Anything that will kind of tip us off, because all we have to go off is the video from the bar.”

"We’ve already found a calculator and brief case," said Monnette, items friends hope will help police in their investigation. "And, you know, we women...carry our whole world in our cars sometimes, and none of us know what she had in her vehicle."

 It is not clear whether the located items belonged to the missing teacher.

"It’s a huge area to cover in the search,” said Montion. “I would just like as many people as possible to come help us look.”

The search was to continue for the next couple of days, but, according to Montion, the detectives investigating the case asked her team of volunteers to stop the search out of fear that it would “contaminate” evidence.  According to Montion, police told her they would resume the search Saturday -- a full week after Monnette disappeared.

“New Orleans is huge and it’s surrounded by water.  How could you stop searching for a loved one?” Montion told ABC News.

Calls to the New Orleans Police Department by ABC News were not immediately returned.

A native of California, Monnette had been teaching in the New Orleans area for two years, and recently became a second-grade teacher at Woodland West Elementary school in Jefferson Parish. Woodland West Principal Amy Hoyle said Monnette showed outstanding promise.  

"She came after the school year started, which is usually hard for teachers.  But she handled it great, and she emerged quickly as a teacher leader," Hoyle told ABC News.

"She took the lowest-performing classes, and in a matter of four months, she turned those students into some of our highest achievers."

Hoyle said Monnette's colleagues and second-grade students were, "all very aware that this is going on."  Woodland West Elementary has provided grief counselors, Hoyle said.

Police urge anyone with any information to call 504-821-2222.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


California Student Catches Alleged Thief: Her Teacher

ABC News(LINDEN, Calif.) -- A California high school student was shocked at what she found when she decided to play detective and stop a string of thefts from backpacks during gym class.

Justine Betti said she decided to hide in a locker to see if she could catch the thief in action. She didn’t expect the alleged culprit to be her gym teacher.

After all of the students left the locker room, the teacher stayed behind, rummaged through backpacks and took money, Betti said.

“Something needed to be done. That’s not okay,” she told ABC News’ Sacramento affiliate, KXTV. Betti is a sophomore at Linden High School in Linden, Calif., about 60 miles southeast of Sacramento.

Betti decided to hide in the locker again — this time, with a cellphone camera to record what she saw. She set up a second camera in another locker to get two angles.

Once again, she said she saw the teacher go through the bags.  Her video shows someone digging through the bags, and one video appears to show the person taking something out of a pink duffel bag.

“I didn’t want to believe that she would do something like that because she was so nice, but then she did it,” Betti said. “It was really scary. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I can’t believe I just got this on video.’”

Betti said she kept watching it “over and over” and eventually took the video to her principal with some friends.

“He said that he’ll investigate it and he told us to delete the video, but I had already sent it to my dad,” she said.

The teacher is on administrative leave, according to KXTV. The Linden School District told ABC News that it is investigating the matter, but the superintendent did not immediately respond to requests for further information.

The teacher has not been identified, but is a 30-year teaching veteran described as a “great teacher” by many students.

Betti said she struggled with recording and sharing the video, but said classmates have supported her.

“They’ve been supportive and said that we did the right thing,” she said. “We feel like we did the right thing, but it’s still kind of hard.”


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Kindergarten Teacher and School Nurse Held in Murder-for-Hire Plot

ABC News(FRANKLIN, Va.) -- A Virginia elementary school teacher and a school nurse are facing charges in what police are calling a murder-for-hire plot.

Angela Nolen, a 47-year-old kindergarten teacher, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly plotting to hire a hit man to kill her ex-husband for $8,000. According to police, Nolen’s friend 37-year-old Cathy Bennett, a school nurse, worked with Nolen to find a hit man.

According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Nolen’s plan unraveled when she gave a police officer, working undercover as a hit man, an up-front fee of $4,000 to kill her ex-husband, 63-year-old Paul Strickler.

Strickler, who is the father of Nolen’s 7-year-old daughter, told the Roanoke Times he had been working on a deal to sell his house to Nolen.

“If I was dead, she would not have to give me the money,” he told the Roanoke Times. “That scares the H-E-L-L out of me. I’m just so glad that the state police found out about this and uncovered it.”

Strickler’s attorney, Stephen Meddy, said his client was “distraught” when he heard about the alleged plot and that the couple’s divorce proceedings had raised no red flags. Nolen had full custody of their daughter before her arrest.

According to The Franklin News-Post, Nolen had filed a protective order against her ex-husband in October 2012.

Franklin County Superintendent Mark Church, who oversees the school system where the two women work, tried to reassure parents and students that no one in the school was threatened.

“These events as we understand them did not involve the school or any students and they are as safe as we can reasonably make them,” he said.

Franklin County Commonwealth Attorney Tim Allen said the prosecution would ask for at least a $75,000 bond for Bennett at the school nurse’s bond hearing.

“The mere fact of what she did is so egregious, you have to look at that as a danger to the community,” Allen said. “That’s what the commonwealth is worried about.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Former Florida Teacher in Sex Case Ordered Back on Probation

ABC News(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Debra Lafave, the former Tampa, Fla., middle school teacher and pin-up model who pleaded guilty in 2005 to having sex with a 14-year-old student, has been ordered back on probation.

A trial judge released Lafave from the remainder of her probation obligation before she served her full sentence of three years house arrest and seven years probation.

On Thursday, a Hillsborough County, Fla., judge reinstated LaFave’s probation, ordering the mother of twins to serve another four years and two months probation, to observe a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., and to stay away from schools, according to ABC News affiliate WFTS in Tampa, Fla.

Attending court Thursday morning with her parents, Lafave told reporters how she spent her year off of probation.

“My mom was diagnosed with cancer for the second time and I spent my … off-probation taking care of her,” she said, according to WFTS.  “I’m so fortunate that I was able to take her to chemo treatments and spend the nights with her when she needed me the most.”

Even with Thursday’s ruling, though, the matter may not be settled.

“The Supreme Court of Florida has accepted jurisdiction of the case,” said Lafave’s attorney, John Fitzgibbons, according to WFTS.  “We’re hopeful we will receive a favorable ruling in the next six months to a year from the Supreme Court, and that should finally conclude things one way or another in this case.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Transgender Teacher Sues Catholic School over Firing

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A transgender teacher is suing the New York City Catholic school where he worked for more than 30 years, claiming he was wrongfully terminated for growing out his hair, painting his fingernails and being "worse than gay."

In a lawsuit, Mark Krolikowski, 59, alleges that after 32 years of teaching at St. Francis Prep in Queens, N.Y., and receiving numerous accolades for his work, including leading students in a musical performance for Pope Benedict XVI, he was fired last year after the parents of a ninth-grader complained about his appearance.

Krolikowski remains anatomically male and routinely wore suits and neckties to school where he taught music, social studies and a class on human sexuality. He also wore earrings and manicured his nails in "a feminine style," according to court documents.

In 2011, Krolikowski was summoned to the office of the principal, Brother Leonard Conway, where he revealed that he was transgender and that he intended to start coming to work dressed as a woman. According to Krowlikowski's lawsuit, Conway told the teacher that being transgender was "worse than gay" and that he could no longer appear at public events if he planned to begin appearing as a woman.

"He is extremely upset given the dedication and devotion he showed to the school for 30 years," Krolikowski's lawyer, Andrew Kimler, told

Kimler said that although his client worked for a private, religious school, Krolikowski was still protected under city and state discrimination laws.

Kimler would not reveal the damages his client hopes to claim through the lawsuit.

A lawyer for the school said the school had cause to fire the teacher and he was not relieved due to his gender identity.

"His employment was terminated for appropriate non-discriminatory reasons," said the school's attorney, Phil Sempervivo.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio 

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