15 Biggest Student-Teacher Scandals of 2009
Many people have fantasies of their authority figures, and vice-versa, but some people just go too far. Nearly 10 percent of U.S. public school students have been targeted with unwanted sexual attention by school employees. It seems like the frequency of student-teacher scandals is not dying down, with numbers like that. Here are 15 of 2009’s biggest student-teacher scandals.
Christine A. McCallum
Christine McCallum opened up the new year with the first student-teacher scandal of 2009. In early January, she pleaded not guilty to the charges of rape of a 13 year-old boy. McCallum, a 29 year-old teacher from the Boston area, allegedly carried on the relationship with the boy for 18 months, sending him sexually explicit letters, amongst other things. The teen came forward, stating that the relationship progressed after McCallum gave him alcohol. Apparently they had sex “every other day,” totaling over 300 times. She once told the boy that she’d choose him over her job any day, but it looks like she never got a chance to make that choice.
24 year-old Lisa Lavoie was arrested in February after fleeing with a 15 year-old student. After attempting to run away with the boy, the duo was tracked down and Lavoie was charged with enticement of a child and statutory rape. She would have been apprehended sooner, had the local police followed up with questioning, since she wasn’t seen at school. She’d only been teaching at the school for five months — she sure moves quickly.
Christy Lynn Martin
Christy Lynn Martin, a 32 year-old teacher from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was arrested in March for texting nude pictures to a 14 year-old student of hers. She was charged with transmitting pornographic images through an electronic device and transmitting material harmful to a minor. She admitted to sending the pictures to him, but was released on $20,000 bail just the next day. Martin and the boy allegedly had a relationship, although she did not teach any of his classes. Good thing his mother found the cell phone.
Linda Nef and Valynne Bowers
March seemed to be a ripe month for student-teacher scandal, because just a couple of weeks later Linda Nef and Valynne Bowers were both arrested on first-degree felony charges for rape and sodomy of a child. Both of these ladies were teachers at Bountiful Junior High School, in Utah, and strangely enough — allegedly slept with the same 13 year-old boy (though he was 11 or 12 at the time). Basically, both started a relationship with the boy back in 2007 and neither knew of the other. That is, until the boy told them. Jealousy reared its ugly head and Bowers confronted Nef about it, turning herself in along with Nef.
Sarah L. Tolzien
Back in March, teacher and cross-country coach, Sarah Tolzien, was accused of sexually assaulting a 16 year-old male she was coaching. Evidence was gathered that indicated the relationship started back in 2008. The boy’s parents notified the police as soon as they suspected something was up, after Tolzien drove him home one day late after practice.
Twenty-three year-old student teacher Lindsay Massaro couldn’t even wait long enough to become a full-fledged teacher to allegedly have an affair with an eighth grader. She was charged with second-degree sexual assault, third-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact. No one knows how the week-long affair was discovered, but either way, she got off easy — with $75,000 bail and a psych evaluation.
Lauren Breslin, a teacher’s aide at Veterans Memorial Middle School, was taken into custody back in April. The 23 year-old allegedly kissed a 14 year-old on the lips and texted him nude photos. The boy’s mother found his cell phone and contacted the police. Breslin also got off easy, like some of the others on this list, with just $25,000 bond. Why? Only because she had good ties within her community.
Kristina Anna Baeta
Another April arrestee, Kristina Baeta was taken in for lewd acts with a male student. The 38 year-old special education teacher was caught in communication with a 13 year-old boy and although details weren’t released of what those lewd acts were, we can take a guess. The boy wasn’t one of her special education students, but it doesn’t make this any less disgusting.
Reanna Jewell, a 25 year-old freshman girls basketball and softball coach from Apache Junction High School was apprehended in April for alleged inappropriate sexual conduct with one of her 16 year-old basketball players. Wait, is there such thing as appropriate sexual conduct between a gym coach and students? Basically, there was sexual contact as well as sexting between Jewell and her female student. It wasn’t the first time this sort of thing happened at AJHS though — earlier in 2009 a male coach was arrested for sexual intercourse with a 17 year-old. Maybe the school should take a closer look at their hiring process.
Jennifer Lea Burton
Also in April, Jennifer Lea Burton was indicted on counts of sexual assault and improper relationship she allegedly had with a 15 year-old female student. Her punishments could range from two years probation to 20 years in prison with fines of $10,000 for each count. The 39 year-old has a daughter in the eighth grade, in the same school district. I wonder if she’d like the same for her own child?
In yet another incident in April 2009, 48 year-old math teacher Tamara Hofmann was at the center of a deadly love triangle. Hofmann called one of her students in the middle of the night, asking him to rendezvous with her. He obliged, and when things started getting steamy, Hofmann’s boyfriend came home unexpectedly, to find the two. He stabbed Hofmann’s student, who later died. Besides this drama, Hofmann’s boyfriend was an ex-student of hers. She taught him a few years earlier when he was just 17. Seems like quite the scandal, but at the time no charges were filed against her.
Jennifer Marie Collier
34 year-old science teacher, Jennifer Collier was arrested back in April on allegations that she had sex with a 14 year-old student. Apparently, after a school field trip she offered to drive the boy home, which sounds harmless enough out of context. But, instead of just playing taxi, she took him to a Wal-Mart parking lot and engaged in sexual activity with him in her car. She was charged with sexual battery on a victim under 18, lewd battery and lewd and lascivious conduct.
Gina Marie Watring
Gina Marie Watring, a 40 year-old teacher’s assistant, was arrested in May for having sex with a 10 year-old. A mother of three, Watring was accused of having sexual intercourse with the minor at least twice. The relationship was discovered when a fellow student found a note between Watring and her victim, and turned it into the school officials.
Alison M. Peck
Back in May, music teacher Alison Pack was arrested on allegations that she had sexual relations with a 16 year-old student. She was charged with several counts of sodomy and statutory rape in multiple counties. It sounds pretty run-of-the-mill in this context, but she didn’t just stop there. Even after being charged and told not to make contact with the boy, she allegedly had two of her friends pick him up and drop him off at a meeting spot. The two then spent the night in a hotel and engaged yet again in those sexual relations.
By no means is student-teacher scandal native to only the United States. Helen Goddard, 26 year-old trumpet instructor at the City of London School for Girls, was discovered having a lesbian relationship with one of her 15 year-old students. The relationship developed after meeting several times after lessons. In August, another teacher at the school received an anonymous tip to the affair. Soon after, the authorities conducted a raid and found the teacher and student together along with an assortment of sex toys. An interesting twist to the story though: the parents of the girl, both reported to be highly educated individuals, say they will have no problem with the relationship if it was to resume once their daughter turns 16 (the ago of consent in England).