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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Symone Greene: A Substitute Teacher's Memorable First Day

     To fill the one-day absence of a high school English teacher, the principal of Options Public Charter School in the Capitol Hill section of Washington, D.C. arranged for a substitute through the Delaware-based company, SOS Personnel. On Friday October 17, 2014, a 22-year-old substitute from Fort Washington, Maryland named Symone Greene reported for duty at the D.C. charter school.

     During her first English class, Green flirted with a 17-year-old 11th-grade football player who helped out in the classroom passing out papers and retrieving supplies. Near the end of the class period the student gave the teacher his cellphone number. Over the next few hours the substitute teacher and the football player exchanged flirty, sexually-oriented messages. At one point the teen asked Greene if she considered herself "kinky." Her reply: "I don't tell, I show."

     When the 11th-grader returned to Green's classroom at three-thirty that afternoon, they were alone. The other students and teachers were attending a pep rally in anticipation of a football game that night.

     The student, encouraged by the earlier flirting, asked the substitute teacher if she would be willing to perform a number of sexual acts. The boy's request led to various sexual acts performed by the teacher behind the classroom desk. Greene didn't know it, but her young sexual partner secretly videoed the encounter on his cellphone.

     It's not surprising that the student almost immediately showed what he had recorded between him and the teacher behind the desk to his teammates. The next day, several more people viewed the videoed classroom encounter online.

     During the weekend following the publicized incident, Green and the boy continued to exchange text messages. He asked, "When u trying to see me again?" She replied, "Oo. u gona get me in trouble. Chill. We gotta be slick with it."

     On Monday October 20, 2014, a faculty member who viewed the sex video online, reported it to a school administrator. The staff member called the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and the D.C. Child and Family Services agency.

     After a detective called Symone Greene to arrange an interview, she, apparently unaware of the video, texted the student and instructed him to tell the police that she "only helped him with his resume." She wanted him to say that "nothing else happened while we were in the classroom together."

   At the detective's urging, the student sent Green a text to which she angrily responded: "Omg…Don't talk to me ever again. I'm bout to be put in jail…This can ruin my whole life…Why couldn't u just keep it to urself?"

     On October 21, the Tuesday following the sexual encounter in Options Public Charter School room 266, officers with the Metropolitan Police Department arrested Symone Greene on the felony charge of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. While the age of sexual consent in the District of Columbia is 16, that defense doesn't apply in student-teacher cases.

     After the defendant pleaded not guilty to the sex charge, the judge released her from custody. Until the case was resolved, Green was required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

     In July 2015, Greene pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of obstruction of justice. Judge Rhonda Reid Winston sentenced her to three years of probation. (I would guess, and hope, that this person was kicked out of the teaching profession.)

     Perhaps female secondary educations majors should be required to take a sex education course featuring how teenage boys behave after having sex with a teacher. For one thing, they all kiss and tell. In other words, they literally talk out of school. Moreover, some of them record their teacher sexual adventures. These college education courses could be enlivened with dozens of recent case histories. And finally, a secondary education major assigned a research project might investigate why so many of the women who engage in sex with their students are English teachers.  

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