In Tucson, Arizona, a judge sentenced elementary teacher Joseph Chanecka, 44, to seven years in prison and lifetime probation after the defendant pleaded guilty to possessing 300,000 child pornographic images on his computer. The judge could have sentenced Chanecka to 25 years behind bars but gave him a break because he had already lost his home, fiancee, and their newborn son. Chanecka said he was "extremely sorry" for his "foolish behavior."
In Toms River, New Jersey, detectives arrested a 38-year-old elementary computer science teacher charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of second degree sexual assault. On the same day, in Orlando, Florida, a 50-year-old elementary teacher was arrested for child molestation. This teacher was already in custody for downloading images of child pornography.
In Shawnee, Oklahoma, police arrested a former "Teacher of the Year" for taking photographs of some of her third grade students dancing around in bras and panties. (Bras?) The kids were attending a pizza party at the teacher's home.
In Philadelphia, members of a police special victims unit arrested three boys--ages ten and eleven--on charges of attempted rape, deviant sexual intercourse, and unlawful restraint in connection with an incident that allegedly took place in an elementary school restroom. The complainant was an 8-year-old boy the defendants had allegedly bullied. After this incident, students in the West Philadelphia school had to go the the restroom in pairs.
A tenured fourth grade teacher at the Wilson Elementary School in Granite City, Illinois was charged with possessing heroin and drug paraphernalia. She posted her $15,000 bond and was released.
In Boone County West Virginia, a kindergarten teacher, after being pulled over for running a stop sign, consented to a search of her car which led to a charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. The teacher admitted to consuming hydrocodone while on her lunch break.
In Alabama, it's a violation of the state's ethics law for a legislator to accept a gift from a citizen. The law was expanded to include public school teachers and their students. According to the director of the Alabama Ethics Commission, "Something of relatively insignificant value--a candle, a coffee mug--is fine. It just can't be a $50 gift to Cosco or Target." Education spokesperson Kathy Kilgor told reporters that elementary school teachers do not like this new rule. "That was a little bit, I think, hurtful, condescending, to think we couldn't accept something from a caring student. That's kind of important to them. Not only is it hurtful to us, it's hurtful to the child."
A second grade teacher in Nanuet, New York broke the news to her students that the Santa thing was a crock. I assume this educator believed it's never to early to lay life's truths on her naive students. You know, prepare them for the "real world." But why did she stop with the Santa myth? Why didn't she tell them that in a few years at least half of them will be obese, on drugs, under-employed and divorced? And that all of them would eventually die? After that, none of them would give a crap about Santa and his flying reindeer.