In years past, headlines of teachers alleged and/or charged of sexual misconduct with students sent jaws screeching toward the floorboards. Nowadays, every twenty-four hour news cycle, or so it seems, features a story about some teacher behaving inappropriately with one or more students, and, frankly, the public appears more numb to these countless stories than outraged.
For the week of December 2-6, the teachers accused of predatory behavior include:
Fiona Viotti, a history teacher at an elite all-boys school and water polo coach at a college in Cape Town, engaged in sexual acts with at least five students. Though the age of consent in South Africa is sixteen years old and nothing is necessarily illegal about the relationships, the former swimsuit model broke the barrier of the Bishops Code of Professional Conduct for Teaching Staff and the Code of Professional Ethics.
Read the full story from Fox News: https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/sports-illustrated-model-history-teacher-accused-sexual-misconduct.
A special education teacher in Florida, Susan Weddle, was arrested for sleeping with her fifteen-year-old son’s friend. According to reports, the relationship between Weddle and the teen began last year, and the two had shared hundreds of sexual encounters.
Read the full story from the New York Post: https://nypost.com/2019/12/03/florida-teacher-accused-of-having-sex-with-teen-several-hundred-times/.
Aaron James Ellison
In Tennessee, a middle school teacher, Aaron James Ellison, has received multiple charges of sexual exploitation and a handful related to solicitation of a minor to observe sexual misconduct. A report by wate.com details Ellison’s exchange of explicit photos with a thirteen-year-old-girl.
Janet Barnes, a high school teacher in Oklahoma, was sentenced to forty years in prison after pleading guilty to two rape charges and one count of sexual battery. Between 2014 and 2016, Barnes had sex with a pair of students and battered another while teaching at Pocola High School.
Read the full story from News 5: https://5newsonline.com/2019/12/04/ex-pocola-teacher-sentenced-to-40-years-in-prison-for-sex-with-students/.
Rayna Culver is accused of adopting a former student so she could have sex with him. Culver first met the boy in 2013 and became his legal guardian several years later, at the age of fifteen. Though Culver was charged with these horrendous acts in 2018—two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, four counts of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of second-degree child endangerment—her story resurfaced in the news as her teaching credential has, finally, been suspended.
Read the full story from People: https://people.com/crime/married-teacher-accused-of-adopting-her-student-so-she-could-have-sex-with-him-loses-credentials/.
John Bittinger, a high school teacher in Richland, Washington, is under the microscope after being accused of inappropriate touching. According to KEPR, a female student claimed Bittinger placed his hands on her at school; six other girls also delivered statements about the teacher being too hands-on.
Read the full story from KEPR: https://keprtv.com/news/local/richland-teacher-arrested-for-alleged-molestation-of-student.
Andy Coenen, a special education teacher in the Mishicot School District, was arrested and charged with attempted sexual exploitation of a child. If found guilty, the Wisconsin teacher could face forty years behind bars.
Ashley Beasley, a middle school teacher in North Carolina, was arrested for having an inappropriate relationship with two of her students. Investigators discovered photos and videos sent from Beasley to a pair of boys in her class, highlighting her horrific choice of partners.
Read the full story from WCTI 12: https://wcti12.com/news/local/teacher-arrested-for-inappropriate-relationships-with-students.
Sadly, stay tuned for next week’s edition of Predatory Teachers.