Friday, May 29, 2009

Pair of Akron teachers show the worst of the worst

There's irony. There's coincidence. And there's the day I had today.

Two Akron teachers whose sins became lead stories for me are both back in the news.

First, William Bennett -- the Firestone High School counselor who molested teen boys -- launched a Facebook profile and ironically one of the first friends he acquired recommended him as a friend for me. I mean, what are the odds?

I immediately recognized his name and face from 10 years ago, and after checking that he was still a registered sex offender (tier 3, the worst) I contacted Sheriff Drew Alexander who sent a deputy out to talk to Bennett.

Meanwhile, Facebook, which has a strict "no sex offender" policy, yanked Bennett's new cyber page within minutes of my notification to them.

Coincidentally, on the same day I'm updated that Akron teacher's story, I get word that another former educator, Benjam Terril, has been released early from jail; he served less than three months of an 18-month sentence.

Terril was the Buchtel Science teacher who pointed a loaded gun at another man's head on Labor Day and then told Akron Police that he had "military experience" and that's why he needed an arsenal of guns and knives in his house. I checked his resume with the Akron Schools and determined through public records that his entire military career -- including claims of combat service in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne -- was bogus. Terril never served a single day in uniform.

The Akron School Board fired Terril based on the bogus resume alone.

So today .. I'm writing stories on both of these former educators .. and I'm lamenting that the hard-working teachers my sons currently have in the Akron Schools get a bad rap because two of their colleagues became the worst of the worst when it comes to our schools.

I spoke to a teacher today who told me that she routinely is up past midnight grading papers and trying to keep up with the amount of work her students turn in. Those are long days, and they're not for mega wages either. She does it because she loves kids -- period.

Most teachers go into education for all of the right reasons ... and it's really upsetting when teachers like Bennett and Terril cross the line.

For what it's worth, both have now served their prison time and are abiding by the rules of their release. Let's hope both have peaceful futures and do not re-offend.

Yet, oddly enough, both are back in the news in the same day.

Like I said .. There's irony. There's coincidence. And then there's the day I had today.

19 comments:

wayne-in-akron said...

================
I checked (Benjam Terril's) resume with the Akron Schools and determined through public records that his entire military career -- including claims of combat service in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne -- was bogus. Terril never served a single day in uniform.

The Akron School Board fired Terril based on the bogus resume alone.
================

Did this revelation inspire the APS to make a similar 'public records check' on the rest of its instructional, administrative, or support staff members?

Of course not!

Anonymous said...

Wayne-in-Akron --

I believe those records are open to the public. All you need to do is make an appointment and you can look at each and every one of those files to check it out for yourself. Happy hunting.

Rich in Medina said...

The teaching profession is not unlike any other. Cast a wide enough net and you will find some smelly fish.

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Why aren't all the self-proclaimed community activists and their profesional protesters marching to the School board meeting?

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