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Friday, January 11, 2019

Heather Carpenter: The Felonious Party Pooper

     On December 1, 2018, 42-year-old Heather Carpenter had been teaching, as a substitute, less than two months at the Phillippi Shores Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida. The school principal's 6-year-old daughter, one of Carpenter's first grade students, was being thrown a birthday party that day at Urfer Park in Sarasota County. Heather Carpenter had announced the party to the other kids in her class. What the teacher didn't announce was the fact, due to a dispute she was having with the principal, she planned to sabotage the girl's party.

     At six-thirty on the morning of December 1, 2018, a man in Urfer Park saw a woman wearing blue rubber gloves and a blue surgical mask dumping human feces on several wooden tables and two grills. When the vandal realized she had been seen, she drove off in a gray mini-van.

     As a result of the contamination of seven park tables and two grills, the birthday party was canceled. It would cost the park $2,300 to replace the vandalized items.

     On December 7, 2018, deputies with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office questioned Heather Carpenter at her home. The suspect said she had sabotaged her student's birthday party as revenge against the girl's father.

     On January 5, 2019, at Carpenter's  arraignment hearing, the prosecutor charged the teacher with felony criminal mischief. The magistrate set her bond at $2,500. The substitute teacher also lost her job at the Phillippi Shores Elementary School.

     Presumably there will be an investigation into this teacher's employment background and the extend to which it had been vetted prior to her hiring at the Phillippi school. From her actions in the park, it is not unreasonable to infer that this woman was mentally imbalanced. Whether or not this could have been revealed in a pre-employment investigation remains to be seen.

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