Some of us are old enough to remember the threat from a teacher that some minor disciplinary infraction might go on our “permanent record”. The staff of Berkeley Heights Elementary School would have done well to heed that warning .
Amber Pack became concerned when she found bruises on her 6 y.o. daughter, Adri, and the little girl resisted returning to school. A small recording device proved informative.
Christina Lester, a teacher at Berkeley, and two of her aides, Kristin Douty and June Yurish, were recorded threatening to knock the teeth out of the children in their care or withhold food from them. To top things off, the school advised Pack to destroy the recording once they learned of its existence.
When prosecutors failed to press charges, Pack shared the recording on Facebook where it went viral.
West Virginia Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey subsequently filed suit against the Berkeley County Board of Education; Berkeley County Deputy Superintendent, Margaret Kursey; and Berkeley Heights Principal, Amber Boeckmann; along with Lester, Douty, and Yurish. Their permanent record will be one of shame.
Adri has since been enrolled in a new school and is doing well.
 People Magazine, “Ex-teacher, aides charged after mom secretly records abuse” by Harriet Sokmensuer, 8/19/19, https://people.com/crime/former-west-virginia-teacher-aides-charged-abuse-recording.
Of Note: Registered sex offenders have filed suit in federal court to prevent Georgia Sheriff Gary Long from posting signs on their lawns warning children not to “trick or treat” there. For details, see https://www.wthr.com/article/georgia-sex-offenders-file-suit-over-sheriffs-no-trick-or-treat-signs.
FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com
15 responses to “Permanent Record”
Wow. That’s a powerful story. So sad for the little girl.
I’m glad her mom had the recording.
Sometimes media is what’s making a change where it needs to be.
It certainly proved helpful here.
Amen, sister! ❤
PS. I have nominated you for The Barnabas Award.
I am overwhelmed, Gail. Thank you. ❤
God is so good to allow me to share! ❤
The quality of the listening act. In my day, parents were the authority. Mine told us, if you are sent to the corner at school, do not complain about the teacher; look inside. Still, they would have “known” their child under such circumstance, because there was always a mother at home – I hope. In this case of abuse, parents listened intently to their child. Thank God.
I agree. This mother’s sensitivity to her child was key.
What a cowardly gang of bullies! 😤💜 Jackie@KWH
Amazing that children would be treated this way.
If it were not for the goodness of many parents, a child’s life would be permanently disabled. Thank you, Anna. You are truly a blessing to countless lives.
You give me far too much credit, Lance. Your own work will though outlive us both. It is a treasure.
You are well deserving, Anna. And, I’m very humbled by your kindness.
It’s good that you bring out the negative side of teaching. There are so many people out there that just have a blind reverence for teachers just because of the word, ‘teacher’. Times have changed so much today and so have ‘teachers’. Now, in our schools, we have teachers and then we have ignorant and or abusive teachers. It is up to parents, and other school workers to keep an eye out on our kids that are in school because kids need help in these areas when the teachers are horrible beachers.
This incident was, I assume, an aberration. Teaching is an honorable profession. In my view, teachers are underappreciated and underpaid. But I agree that all of us must remain vigilant to protect our children against abuse.