This story originally appeared at American Web Media.
Teaching is definitely not an easy job. Not only are teachers expected to quickly deliver engaging and informative lesson plans, they’re also responsible for a wide range of students, including problem children whose issues clearly relate to larger problems at home.
So when a 7-year-old girl turned up for class in high heels, her teacher instantly knew that something was amiss. The child frequently arrived for class in dirty clothing, so the educator was already prepared with clean clothes and spare cot for napping.
But on this particular day, the teacher was alarmed to see that her student wore bloody underwear as she changed out of her clothing. The alarmed educator instantly sent this evidence to the police, only for her emotions to grow into anger as officers labeled this evidence as inadmissible, then inexplicably threw it away.
“I was really, really angry,” the teacher recalled. “I was going to get into the dumpster and get them out because that’s not OK.” The system was failing her. I know it was. Because I called and I called. And I did everything that I was supposed to go through my training. I called CYFD [Children, Youth and Families Department] because she was starving because she was dirty because she needed physical care. Then I called the police officers any time and every time she said that she was breaking the law.”
The administrator shared the officers’ dereliction of duty on Facebook, but this wouldn’t prevent the student from being sexually assaulted 2 weeks later. This time, the school nurse reported the incident to police, triggering an investigation that finally resulted in the arrest of this young student’s parents, James Stewart and Teri Sanchez. According to court documents, the pair had forced their daughter into begging, theft and prostitution to keep themselves flush with money and drugs.
We’re so grateful for these astute teachers, who articulated their suspicions to the police, held officers to account, and stepped up where her parents clearly had failed. We only hope this young student’s next family will set a better example!