Monday, November 03, 2008

More TN school stuff

In an update to my blog entry a few days ago about Jason Lancaster, it turns out that there's enough evidence available to support the girls' accusations that the good doctor will be charged.

So much for his good name. I'm afraid the commenters will not be able to come back and triumphantly proclaim his innocence, not only because this blog is now private =Þ but also because Lancaster is not, apparently, innocent. I don't think charges would be made unless there was some pretty damning evidence against him.

As one commenter (windbender) said on this article:

"I had a high school teacher who was among the best in the city where I grew up, when it came to the subject he taught. When he was busted twenty years later for having an affair with one of his male students, it didn't really come as a surprise that he was gay, at least not to very many of the students that had know him over the years - Biblically, or otherwise. What came as a shock was that he'd been involved with a student at the school. Of course the real kicker was the the cache of diaries the police found in his home detailing his numerous liasons over the years. He had been Teacher of The Year more than once - always for good reason. Nobody is just one thing."

This particular comment was insightful because the commenter understood that someone can be BOTH a good teacher AND a predatory pedophile. Also, because the teacher this commenter mentions had been taking advantage of students for twenty years!! My gosh!!! To what kind of environment are we exposing our innocent children?



The most recent article:

Murfreesboro teacher may be charged
He is accused of sexual texts

By Chasity Gunn • GANNETT TENNESSEE • November 1, 2008

MURFREESBORO — Allegations that a Rutherford County high school teacher used text messages and Web sites to engage in sexual communications with at least two female students could lead to criminal charges.

Capt. Preble Acton of the county sheriff's office said Friday that Jason Lancaster, 36, of Christiana could go before a grand jury. A detective is investigating accusations that Lancaster had what the school district terms "improper communications of a sexual nature through both text messaging and social Web sites" with students at Blackman High, where he teaches honors English.

Rutherford County schools Director Harry Gill Jr. suspended Lancaster without pay Thursday until the investigation is complete. Gill would not comment on the nature of the accusations.

Lancaster, a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, has taught in county schools since 1993 and has been at Blackman since the school opened in 2000. He is the student council adviser.

His personnel file shows no prior reprimands or disciplinary actions.

A woman who answered the phone at Lancaster's residence Thursday night said he declined to comment.

Lancaster's case is the latest of several in the Nashville area involving accusations of sexual misconduct by teachers. In one recent case, Portland High teacher Sandy Binkley, 36, is accused of having sexual encounters with at least three male students at her Sumner County school.

In training, teachers are told not to share personal cell phone numbers, e-mails or Web sites with students to maintain a professional buffer, according to a statement the Rutherford school district issued Thursday.

Blackman parent Cathy Newman doesn't believe teachers should be communicating with students via text messages or social Web sites.

"If it were one of my daughters, I would be extremely concerned," said Newman, whose daughter is a freshman and didn't have Lancaster as a teacher. "If it proves to be true, he should be dismissed immediately. ... It should be zero tolerance."

Acton said she doesn't know when the investigation started. She said no records could be released because the investigation is active.

The sheriff's office contacted Angel McCloud, county schools attorney, about their investigation Wednesday night, and she then notified Gill, schools spokesman James Evans said.

Contact Chasity Gunn at cgunn@dnj.com or 615-278-5109.

1 comment:

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Well, there you go. Sometimes people would rather believe someone they respect is innocent. It's much more pleasant that way. What ever happened to teachers just teaching?