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Former UMHS teacher-coach Freeman no longer a free man

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From page A1 | December 11, 2013 | 123 Comments

Freeman Robert David

David Robert Freeman

A former Union Mine High School teacher and coach was sentenced to prison time and to register as a sex offender in a hearing Friday afternoon.

Judge Daniel B. Proud told David Robert Freeman and his attorney, Shannon Baker, that he could face up to three years, eight months in prison — what he was eventually sentenced to — despite a number of letters in support of him. He had pleaded no contest to 13 felonies related to unlawful sexual intercourse or oral copulation with a minor.

Prosecutor Deputy District Attorney Jamie Verwayen then listed off parts of the case that should be considered for determining the sentence. Freeman was a teacher with a “level of trust, level of responsibility” and a mandated reporter of the very crimes he committed. His victim was a minor, who needed counseling after the crimes were made public. He used sophistication to cover up and facilitate the crimes. He was 36 at the time, 19 years older than the victim.

“He needs to be told this is not OK,” and that his actions were not something society would accept, Verwayen said.

She then read an impact statement from the victim, who sat with her family in the audience.

At age 17, the letter said, she felt “emotionally broken” as her father was ill and would later die from the illness. She noted that she was Freeman’s babysitter, and she “never felt so used in my life,” even though she was “promised a fairytale future.” Instead, she said, she finally saw that she was being manipulated and that he lied to the school administration for two years.

The victim’s mother then stepped up and read her letter. She said Freeman took advantage of her daughter at a time when she was the primary caregiver for her father. After the crimes were made public, her daughter “cried a lot” and was depressed. She pulled away from friends and family. “He put my daughter through hell, but (she) is healing.”

The final impact statement from the victim’s husband was read by Verwayen, mostly reiterating sentiments from his wife and mother-in-law. He said that Freeman “failed to protect a young, innocent girl” who later became “extremely depressed” and would “cry for hours.” During the week of Freeman’s arrest, his wife had “uncontrollable anxiety.” Freeman “stole her young adult years.” He said that he “can never go to the high school I graduated from and feel the same.” Further, acquaintances would ask them about rumors regarding the case. “We will both have to deal with the scars for years to come.” He concluded with saying he does not consider Freeman “a grown man or mature.”

It was then the defense’s turn to speak, with Baker saying there was “no question that they had a completely inappropriate relationship,” but Freeman had pleaded to the 13 counts without any promise of leniency; he had pleaded to save the victim from having to testify and to avoid further stress within his own family. She noted that he had shown remorse over what he did and had written the victim a letter of apology. He felt he was in love with her at the time, but instead stayed with his wife.

He had not shown any inclination to reoffend in the four years since it happened, Baker said, though he and his wife have since separated. He was “taught a very serious lesson about mistakes” which cost his job, and he will likely lose his teaching credential. He will have difficulty finding another job, especially if he is made to register as a sex offender. She proposed only sentencing him to probation, instead.

Verwayen said that if he was registered, as a coach, he would not be able to be alone with the children — a second adult would be required to be present with Freeman. She also countered Baker by saying that Freeman had only shown remorse after the court process started. “He chose to do these actions…and he must face society’s deemed consequences.”

Proud went over the facts again. He noted that Freeman was both the victim’s teacher and employer, and that in her senior year, the victim had been a teacher’s assistant for him. Freeman had arranged for the victim to sit in on one of his classes to spend more time with her instead of going to a physical education class, but she still received an A grade in the PE class, showing Freeman had some control over her grades.

He manipulated the victim to have her not say anything about their relationship, including that his children would “lose their father” if she did.

Freeman had a very small prior record — a DUI in 2000.

He scored in the “low” category for reoffending.

Although he has been on unpaid leave, Freeman started a job on the side, which he later stopped in favor of disability benefits.

“This is a difficult case,” Proud said. He noted that, prior to both sides arguing about punishment, he had not made up his mind. But, he said, the court needs to “send a message, to those similarly inclined, teacher or not, that this…will not be tolerated.”

He then sentenced Freeman to three years in prison for the first count, eight months in prison on the second count, and three years for the other 11 counts to be served concurrently for a total of three years, eight months in prison. He also ordered Freeman to register as a sexual offender and for his blood and DNA to be taken. He levied nearly $2,600 in fines, with $840 stayed, and advised Freeman that he had 60 days to apply for an appeal. A criminal protective order was granted for the victim against Freeman and Freeman was banned from ever owning firearms.

Baker noted that Freeman had been suicidal, so Proud allowed him a turn-in date of Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. at the El Dorado County Jail. With a “Cruz” waiver, should he not appear at that time, he would face a “long, long” time in prison, Proud said.

“This is not a pleasant thing to do,” Proud concluded, “and not a pleasant thing (for either family). This is the part of the job I least like.”

After the hearing, Dave Johnson, who sat in the hearing in support of Freeman and the only person in the hearing to agree to comment, called the court process “the biggest travesty of justice I’ve ever seen. It was a joke. The judge should never have taken it, it should have gone to trial.”

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Discussion | 123 comments

  • sallyDecember 11, 2013 - 4:47 am

    Good he is where he is supposed to be DIRTBAG!

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  • Y I OughtaDecember 11, 2013 - 6:14 am

    Yes I agree it should have gone to trial. With more serious charges and penaltys. I would have liked to have sat on that jury. Hope he brings his "poker face" to the big house. One can only guess what his "disability" must have been. Sex addiction?

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  • Debbie BauerDecember 11, 2013 - 7:46 am

    So the Athletic Director of Union Mine supports a PEDOPHILE some things never change ! Freeman has been hitting on students from the time the school opened ! Seems like someone who is still in charge of kids would want to seek justice for the students !

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  • Girls, girls, girlsDecember 11, 2013 - 9:05 am

    Freeman's activities while a teacher at UM was the worst kept secret on campus. Then there was that nasty rumor of past transgressions in another locale that just would not go away. Sounds like the mother of his children could not tolerate the no contest plea and the truth. Who can blame her? It plays out like a tragic version of the opening scene from the movie Heat. The failure of the school administration is a significant issue and the AD's comments are indeed telling. If an overwhelming majority of the student population was aware of Freeman's willingness to provide special attention, then how can the administration cry travesty of justice? Next up, holding the administration accountable for their non-actions including the AD. This is a zero tolerance subject and they failed.

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  • MaryDecember 31, 2013 - 10:33 am

    Girls girls, there was no one in other locales, let's guess you know them too but like Rachel told just one person, isn't that like Penn state when paterno told supervisor but yet was still held responsible for it not being pursued. Rachel, hope you are not a mandated reporter because it isn't actually reported until a report is filed. What do we characterize as innocent, has sex with 6 people in high school then add teacher but she is a naïve innocent, come on innocent to me means pure or not knowledgeable of sex, what about the other guys above 18 she slept with before she was 18, why didn't she pursue them too, illegal sex is illegal sex, right? Husband is embarrassed to go to high school, come on you know your wife. This is the same girl who was asked to prom by a guy completely naked lying on a bed with a little pillow covering up and she said yes. I would imagine a respectable girl would refuse.

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  • Jim RiordanDecember 11, 2013 - 9:44 am

    YESSIR, seems like we can always count on Mr. Johnson to take the high road!

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  • DanDecember 11, 2013 - 11:30 am

    Even though this guy interacted with a minor in a way that should never, ever be done, what of the girl? You guys do know it takes two to tangle right? Even though this guy really is a dirtbag and a pedophile, don't just toss the blame at the guy right away. I am in no way defending his actions. It just seems as though the Peers and Colleagues of El Dorado County is extremely quick to throw the guy in jail. Two things that should never be messed with in El Dorado County, minors and money it seems.

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  • ADecember 11, 2013 - 11:36 am

    Dan, While you bring up the age old argument that comes up in almost every date rape case - the situation here is different because she was a minor. In the US, in California, the legal system has determined that minors cannot legally consent to intercourse. Even if she was "willing" she could not make that choice because she was under the age of consent, and the teacher, who knew her age, and as an educator who would be well aware of this law, knowingly broke it and committed statutory rape. Key word being statutory. Also, as someone who had control of her grades and her babysitting job, its just inappropriate manipulation because of his position of authority and power over her - even if she was of consenting age, this is shady.

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  • Olivia Salsberry ClawsonDecember 11, 2013 - 5:03 pm

    To Dan. The only difference is he is an adult who should of had more sense than this young under age girl. HE IS AN ADULT. Not a very smart one though. You maybe do not have a daughter. But regardless he is 100 % wrong. He ruined this young girls life. He should get life.

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  • DuhDecember 12, 2013 - 11:31 am

    He was her TEACHER. Her father was DYING. She was SIXTEEN.

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  • ADecember 11, 2013 - 10:31 am

    In my mind, Johnson is pulling a Penn State here. Even if he supports Freeman, saying that out loud shows a blatant disregard for the safety of high school students that he should be somewhat responsible for protecting. I hope the school district takes a hard look at the people they are entrusting children with.

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  • RACHEL BOZARTHDecember 11, 2013 - 10:32 am

    WELL WE CAN SAY, YES IT WAS A TRAVESTY OF THE SYSTEM. HE ONLY GOT 3 YEARS! THE PIG DESERVES MUCH MUCH WORST. I CAN ONLY HOPE THAT THE RUMORS OF THINGS DONE TO PEDOPHILES IN PRISON HOLD TRUE FOR FREEMAN. AND MR JOHNSON I WENT TO SCHOOL AT UNION MINE WITH FREEMAN. EVERYONE KNEW HE WAS DOING THOSE DISGUSTING THINGS. EVERYONE! FEMALE OR MALE STUDENT WE ALL KNEW. AND FOR YOU TO GO OUT AND DEFEND HIM MAKES ME QUESTION THE SAFETY OF THE STUDENTS IN YOUR CARE. DO YOU DEFEND HIM BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE WHAT HE WAS DOING IS OKAY? IS THAT WHAT YOU LIKE TO DO TO YOUNG GIRLS? BOYS? TAKE THEM UNDER YOUR WING AND MOLEST THEM? AND THEN CALL IT LOVE? I FIRMLY BELIEVE AS AN AMERICAN WE HAVE A RIGHT TO OUR BELIEFS..BUT YOUR BELIEFS ARE MAKING ME SUSPECT YOU OF THE SAME THING THAT YOUR GOOD BUDDY IS GOING TO PRISON FOR. SO MR JOHNSON IS THAT WHAT YOU MEN LIKE TO DO TOGETHER. COACH AND MOLEST THE YOUTH INTRUSTED IN YOUR CARE? BECAUSE YOUR STATEMENTS AND ACTIONS ARE LEADING ME TO THINK OF YOU AS A PEDOPHILE AS WELL. I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT AN INVESTIGATION SHOULD BE GOING ON! YOU HIRED THAT SCUM AND HAVE DEFENDED HIM FROM THE BEGINNING . I WOULD NOT TRUST ANY KID OF MINE TO YOU MR JOHNSON. YOU TEACH KIDS, YET YOU DEFEND THAT PUKE . MR JOHNSON THE ONLY THING WORST THEN A PEDOPHILE IS THOSE WHO KNOW THE TRUTH AND TRY TO PROTECT SAID PEDOPHILES . YOU MAKE ME SICK. I HOPE THAT OTHER PARENTS READ THIS AND YOUR STATEMENTS AND GO TO THE SCHOOL BOARD. YOU SHOULD NOT BE TRUSTED WITH CHILDREN OR TEENAGERS . WHAT EXAMPLE ARE YOU SETTING FOR THEM BY DEFENDING HIM. YOU SIR ARE PIG AND A PUKE AS WELL.

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  • justice followerDecember 11, 2013 - 11:17 am

    Ms Bogarth thinks prison rape is just and promotes prisoner reform.

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  • lil birdDecember 11, 2013 - 6:30 pm

    Rachel, that's quite a harangue. You obviously didn't get to finish high school either, your English being the giveaway. Funny how it's always the guy's fault, yet when women teachers do it to 'boys' at seventeen, it sure isn't the boys complaining.

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  • Y I OughtaDecember 11, 2013 - 10:53 am

    Shouldn't someone entrusted with children already have their blood and dna sampled as a condition of employment? Along with random drug tests and psycological exams? Who is running the asylum?

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  • For Christ sakeDecember 11, 2013 - 11:44 am

    Ya'll are a bunch of inbred recknecks. This chick was almost 18 and willing. This was not a forced rape of an 11 year old. 6 months pass n nobody would have a problem with what happened. The injustice is a mans life, his wife, n kids lives are, arguably, ruined because consensual fornication was legally premature by a matter of months. To compare Mr. Johnson to the Penn St. atrocity effectively illuminates your relative lack of intellect, more simply, you're just dumb. He did not say Mr. Freeman is innocent; rather, the system is flawed since it's ruining so many more lives than it should. To compare the forced rape of Penn St. to the consensual fornicating by both parties, one of whom is mere months away from legality is stupid on a level I've never witnessed. I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.

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  • ADecember 11, 2013 - 1:32 pm

    For Christ Sake, If you have a problem with statutory laws, talk to your legislators. The fact is, he broke laws and violated the teacher/student relationship. With regards to the Johnson/Penn State comment, obviously they scale and nature of the crimes are not the same, but the precedent has been set that the administration, if they have knowledge of wrong doing, should be somewhat responsible. If Johnson did not know before, but now publicly supports the admittedly guilty party and not students to which he had a responsibility to, it is clearly poor judgement on his part, and should call into question his qualifications as a school administrator.

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  • For Christ's SakeDecember 11, 2013 - 10:50 pm

    I don't have an issue with the laws in place, sex with a minor should be punished. The issue here is calling this man a pedophile and equating him and Mr. Johnson to Penn St. That is sickening. He should be punished for breaking the law! But…. I can reference countless cases of FORCED rape and molestation of little kids that get the same sentence Mr. Freeman received. As obtuse as so many of you on this comment board are - I can't imagine how a single one of you can equate forced rape of a 10 year old child to the act of consensual sex where one party is literally months away from being a legal adult. Maybe the law treats these two scenarios the same, but nobody can honestly argue that these two scenarios are apples-to-apple. To now slander Mr. Johnson's name as a supporter of pedophilia is inept and callous and disgusting. Mr. Freeman broke the law…. Nobody is arguing he should go without any punishment whatsoever!

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  • For Christ's SakeDecember 11, 2013 - 10:56 pm

    Then if the "scale and nature" of these two scenarios are NOT the same ---- Don't make the f*cking comparison and say they are the same in the first place!! Jesus H Christ. You then go on to say that this has all been brought up before and Mr. Johnson had known about this and so did the school and the administration, and I bet you think Obama is partly to blame as well. Show proof that Mr. Johnson knew about this, show proof that the school was alerted prior to this happening, show the cover up that took place. Instead, your "evidence" is reading a few anonymous comments on an online newspaper. Great detective work. Hey if you give me $10,000 I'll tell you where to find pirates gold! You read it here, must be true. You can just write a check to "cash".

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 11:05 am

    Ms. Bozarth, so you and everyone knew he was doing these disgusting things. Did you tell your parents? Did you report it to school authorities? To the Police/Sheriff? Did you contact the media. No, you, unless you failed to mention it in your comment, did nothing. Doing nothing and now expressing outrage at what he did. What is your responsibility in this?

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  • bridgettDecember 11, 2013 - 11:14 am

    I know who he is and I know who the girl is. I went to that school and saw him in P.E. I knew everything back then. Trippy to see one of the teachers you'd see every day at school in the news and in jail.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 11:20 am

    Bridgett, so you knew everything too. Please join Ms. Bozarth in the group who knew everything and did nothing.

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  • RACHEL BOZARTHDecember 11, 2013 - 11:52 am

    well james i did report him.to a teacher that has now moved on to a school that is not in favor of keeping on staff pedophiles. i assume it was part of his reason for leaving. i attended um for a few months and after 2 i knew and did report it to said teacher. so thanks for your comments. i did do my responsibility and probably dozens of other nameless faceless people tried reporting it as well. and to dan...all these girls were underage and by law not legally fit to make the "choice" of sleeping with a teacher.

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  • DeliveranceDecember 11, 2013 - 12:06 pm

    Fur chriss aches.... I'll bet your mom says your the best kisser in the familiy. And your of age.

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  • For Christs sakeDecember 11, 2013 - 12:17 pm

    Deliverance: I'm surprised u can spell Deliverance. I bet u have a purrdy mouth!

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  • Concerned parentDecember 11, 2013 - 12:12 pm

    James, it actually was reported to administration numerous times by not only parents like myself but other teachers, they however only spoke with Freeman regarding the allegations. Of course he lied time and time again. So please, stop asking others if they reported. In fact, Johnson being a mandated reporter himself, continued to "look the other way". The good ol boys stick together I suppose. And I am absolutely disgusted with Johnson's statement, how embrassing for union mine high school.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 12:13 pm

    Ms. Bozarth, you told a teacher who then departed?? Did you tell the school principal? Did you tell your parents who did not depart?

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  • RACHEL BOZARTHDecember 11, 2013 - 12:28 pm

    james you can keep attacking my comments if it makes you feel better. i left the school before the teacher left. so as i said before i assume that is why he left. i reported it. i was told it would be handled i did my part. i then left that horrible school. yes i told any adult who would listen. so i understand if you want to keep on trying to make me feel bad, i did my part. it was not my job to make sure the school did theirs . you sir can keep on commenting. and have fun with it. use some flair. maybe some angry faces. and pointing fingers. go all out.

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  • Fromer UM StudentDecember 13, 2013 - 9:42 am

    This whole story sems very one-sided. Yes James E, it should have been reported a great deal more. But as a former student from UM, I saw a great deal of this. Yes I saw the girl everyday. He was never my teacher but taught the same period i had PE and yes she was his assistant and anybody could see the way she fawned over him and followed him around like a puppy dog, (If you could see past the constant group of girls that surrounded him at all times.) You want to know why not a lot of people did anything, when i was there it was all still "rumors". But you can bet that most of the girls would have stood in line behind her if they had the chance. Mr. Freemans good looks were legendary at that school, watching him stretch is what made PE worth showing up and dressing down. Im not saying it was right or that it was okay, all I'm saying is that not all highschool girls are as innocent as they seem. We were all having intercourse with our boyfriends anyways. This is a sad story and I'm sorry for both families involved but I think she is getting off a little too easy.

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  • Former Union Mine StudentMarch 28, 2014 - 11:10 am

    i agree, she did follow him like a puppy dog for years to come? even after she was over age she continued to be that way from what i understood. i don't think he should be that severely punished when she was all over him and it continued to happen after she was of age. Besides, everyone knew she one scandalous female who not only loved attention, loved laying down (if you get what i mean)

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    Concerned Parent, so you reported a possible sexual predator to school authorities. What school authority? You reported it so you know specifically who you reported it to. A name? And, then when it was covered up by the individual you reported it to, and 'everyone continued to know the disgusting things he was doing,' what did you as a concerned parent do? Ever heard of law enforcement? Guess not. All of you concerned parents who didn't take the proper action in this case enabled the sexual predator and now, after the fact, come up with the excuses of how you are without sin.

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  • Lord Help Us!December 11, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    For Christ Sake. It is my sincere hope that you did not reproduce, and if you did it wasn't a daughter.

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  • For christ sakeDecember 11, 2013 - 12:58 pm

    My wish would be for u to defect from ur inbred tribe of redneck hooligans. Point remains. All praise to Allah!

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 12:33 pm

    Ms. Bozarth, as with Concerned Parent, you told any adult who would listen. Names of the adults?

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  • RACHEL BOZARTHDecember 11, 2013 - 12:42 pm

    i see you want a list of names yet you wont even put your last name next to your words. lets start a list with that name on top. i have seen your comments on other articles you seem to have a lot to say yet not enough courage to leave your real name. big man. and dont forget about writing with flair mean angry faces and pointing fingers help make a great statement.

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  • EvelynDecember 11, 2013 - 12:33 pm

    BOTTOM LINE: The responsibility for integrity and modelling responsible behavior falls on the teacher -- first, last & always. Even if every one of of the teacher's students came to class in the nude, flinging themselves at him or her, it is the teacher's responsibility to tell them to get dressed, sit down, and get to work. Period. End of story.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 11, 2013 - 12:40 pm

    Yes. End of story.

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 5:30 am

    That's the way it was when I was in school. Nothing within the public education system has changed for the better.

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  • robertdnollDecember 11, 2013 - 12:39 pm

    ya dudes,if the chick is willing just do her,now his kids will suffer because of stupid laws you commies make

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    I think I've made my point. Everyone knew, a few made feeble attempts to report it, and when it was covered up everyone went silent. Should it happen again, may I suggest the principal and then the police. Both in the same day.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 12:48 pm

    Rachel, my name is James E. Longhofer. If you don't believe, you can check with Phil, Evelyn, Cookie, Dee, R.J., Paddy, et al. Now, you have my name, how about the names of the adults you reported this crime to -- try to make the list complete.

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  • RACHEL BOZARTHDecember 11, 2013 - 1:01 pm

    so what give you list of names so you can bad mouth said people for doing their jobs and not getting results that day. you know how hard it is to get teachers fired in this day and age even with multiple reports filed to school authorities or police so no i would rather let you bad mouth me instead of those people who did their part and have since moved on with their lives.and who am i supposed to ask? those other random names of people who comment on the articles online ? ask them what? if your real? i sir am laughing at all the stuff you keep saying and i am waiting for the angry faces. you need more of those stupid little icons teenagers use to go with your statements. it would make it all that stuff your saying better. trust me.

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 5:48 am

    James, take my word for it, there are questions that some people will not answer because even they know how silly they sound. I deal with it all the time. This is what is being produced in the union run school system. I wish you were this inquisitive over Benghazi, IRS, NSA, Fast and Furious, AP or even what hope and change meant.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 12:56 pm

    Evelyn, how do I get out of this? I don't want to cross-examine this young lady to the point of asking her for names she doesn't have and beyond to the point of embarrassment. Perhaps this way: Ms. Bozarth, thank you for your previous comments, but in the future think responsibility. A pleasure chatting with you.

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  • EvelynDecember 11, 2013 - 1:18 pm

    James: Some of these comments are waaaaay beyond my comprehension! However, I am more than happy to reassure Rachel that you are exactly who you say you are.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 11, 2013 - 12:57 pm

    James, it is highly unlikely that Rachel possesses any sort of supporting documentation to protect herself in the event of a "name" initiating legal action against Rachael. Consider that your demands of Rachel are out of line and potentially dangerous to Rachel.

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  • robertdnollDecember 11, 2013 - 1:02 pm

    RACHEL,some of the people who are attacking you have done time in prison,of course they we're innocent however you shouldn't let them bother you,you have the credibility they lack

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 5:57 am

    What an interesting use of the word "attacking". A word so overused by your particular mindset that you probably can't help yourself. I fail to see where James has attacked anyone. He is merely asking follow up questions to a claim made by someone.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 1:18 pm

    Phil, all I needed from you is confirmation of my last name. I didn't force Rachel to say she told many adults. And, I excused her from naming them in support of her own statement. I'm done if she's done. If she's not, then you can expect me to respond. Shouldn't we be talking about Obama palin' around with Raul Castro?

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  • Lord Help Us!December 11, 2013 - 1:21 pm

    As well as the courage.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 1:24 pm

    Thank you Evelyn. Now Phil, let me shift to a discussion with an adult, is it your position when if there is an alleged sexual predator in a high school that the proper action is not the principal and the police, both in the same day?

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  • Lord Help Us!December 11, 2013 - 1:25 pm

    James you are a legend in your own mind.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 1:30 pm

    Well, OK Phil, thank you for that input. Now, the president shaking hands with Raul. I saw somewhere on the internet that there may have been recent secret talks between our governments, which might explain the handshake beyond just going down a receiving line.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 1:33 pm

    Lord Help Us, I don't mind you knocking me, but could you do it with a logical comment.

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  • Former StudentDecember 11, 2013 - 1:41 pm

    James E. you sit there and say "how dare you not report", but you quickly forget this is a high school. Freeman was my middle school teacher as well as my high school teacher. The mentality a person has in high school is not that of "let's grab our pitchforks and rally against Freeman". The insecurities faced as a woman in high school exceeds righteousness. I heard rumors of Freeman and his babysitter then when I was in high school from 2000-2004. Lots of girls thought he was cute and ogled over him. You can call me names and point fingers, but as a 16 year old girl,I never thought to act on rumor and I was too egocentric at the time to actually consider the repercussion if this was true. After I graduated I never thought much about it until I saw the story in the paper last year. Johnson is, and has always been the leader of androcentrism in the PE department at UM. He is toxic and should not be there. Teachers hold a level of trust within the public and he used this level of trust to manipulate a young girl. My heart and prayers go out to his wife and children. She was a very sweet woman and very supportive of him. I hope she can gain strength and hold her head high after this.

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  • PatriceDecember 11, 2013 - 1:42 pm

    If the UM administration received reports of this child molestation(s) wouldn't the Pville Police have dug deeper to find out what was or was not reported and to whom? Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't. And Mr. For Christ sake, it doesn't matter if she was a few months shy of being 18. The law is clear you are not considered an adult until 18, not 17.10 months.

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  • ChelseaDecember 11, 2013 - 2:05 pm

    I agree with Patrice. If a child is under 18, it is against the law and until that law is changed, people should be punished with prison time. But also, I thought I had read that it went on for two years, which would make her 15 and way to young to consent to sex.

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  • Former Union Mine StudentMarch 28, 2014 - 11:14 am

    where do you draw the line? A 17 year old is 90% of time tried as an adult if he or she breaks the law knowingly. Whats so different about that now? She knowingly slept with him with full conscious knowledge it was wrong.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 1:54 pm

    Former Student, yes, I agree. A teenager may not have the experience to know what to do in a case like this, but parents who had knowledge should have known the proper course: Principal and Police.

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  • Former StudentDecember 11, 2013 - 2:10 pm

    James E. how would parents have known? I certainly didn't discuss it with my parents?

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  • Diamond DaveDecember 11, 2013 - 1:59 pm

    Funny, James E. is the same dope that called me an "internet bully" yesterday just because I politely asked him to do his own research on subjects. Now he's back today badgering and interrogating former high students for information like some sort of cop. Well it is the season for "Fruitcakes".

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  • Sean OnneryDecember 11, 2013 - 2:05 pm

    laugh riot .......... d dave politely asked he says. Stik around dave, you're a real tonic.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 2:06 pm

    Patrice, most states have the age of consent at 18. Chuckle, I typed 81, but I knew that wasn't right so corrected it. There are a number of states where it is 16, and some in the South where it was 14 and even one state where it was 12. But, I think the 14/12 states have gone to 16, and the standard for most is 18.

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  • PatriceDecember 11, 2013 - 6:07 pm

    Thanks for this info. James, but I am concerned about CA.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 2:10 pm

    Diamond Dave, yesterday you wanted facts and now you don't want any facts on how the behavior of the sexual predator was handled. Come on, be consistent. And, it's the season for fruitcakes? What is your factual basis for that comment. Back to your homework Dave.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 2:17 pm

    Former Student, again true, most teenagers tell their parents nothing. But, not all.

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  • A ParentDecember 11, 2013 - 2:26 pm

    Neither her age, her "implied" consent, nor his "feelings at the time" matter. Teachers and anyone else whose profession involves interaction with minors must be help to a zero tolerance standard. We as parents need to be 100% comfortable our children are sage amongst those in charge of their care. The fact that he is "a mandated reporter of the very crimes he committed" means he knew he was breaking the law.

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  • peyton place observerDecember 11, 2013 - 2:27 pm

    Patrice I was a student at EDHS in the 70s and there was a patrolman with PPD who was having an affair with an explorer a 16 year old girl. I would hitchhike and get picked up with them both joy riding with the radio off. His wife knew as she caught an STD from him/her he went on to become chief of police. She was no saint and and everyone knew it. If I had not seen it I would not have believed it either and just chalked it up to gossip. That was a long time ago and maybe things have changed but you can't expect a teenager to make accusations to the authorities that hold your future In their hands.

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  • CindyDecember 11, 2013 - 4:35 pm

    I too was in high school in the 70's, at Pondo and Independence, entered foster care and was taken in by a teacher/administrator. My bed was with her son, my diploma was awarded in appreciation for my cooking for her family. Soon my "mentor" guided me to obtain a false ID and work in a bar with her at night. Even at Buckeye I knew a 7th grade girl who was molested repeatedly by a teacher and it was no secret. Back then there was no consciousness of sexual harassment and abuse, little hope for child victims.

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  • peyton place observerDecember 11, 2013 - 5:33 pm

    Cindy i believe you this probably happens in every town and especially with small towns certain people have power and influence to prevent you from speaking up it's no wonder people don't use their real or full name as the backlash could destroy your reputation or worse. Of course that makes it hard to be taken seriously in a forum like this where people can sling mud anonymosly. I didn't bring it up to hurt anyone just to bring up that things happen that you just can't share at the time. I've never told anyone as I moved away and no one would care anyway. To the idiot that said she was almost 18 and a willing participant your a fool. She will have to sort this out for a long time to come. The girl in my story, well lets just say she had a hard life. Drugs, jail etc. she wanted to become police officer. I hope yours turned out well.

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  • CindyDecember 11, 2013 - 6:07 pm

    Yes, PPO, it happens everywhere, doesn't make it right. The athletic director supporting the abusive teacher just shows how things have not changed too much the last 40 years. And why is there ANY chance Freeman will keep his teaching credential? Thanks for your comments. My life is going pretty well and I think it was my experience that has made me hyper-vigilant about child abuse.

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  • PatriceDecember 11, 2013 - 6:17 pm

    Honestly, I am not surprised what you found out occurred in 1970. I do not expect it to be easy to report molest. The first people to report to are the minors parents, and they should take it from there.

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  • peyton place observerDecember 11, 2013 - 7:59 pm

    Patrice: which brings us back to why we are here. When i was a senior in highschool I was 18. I wasn't a "stud" or particularly popular however there were more than a few 14-15 girls that wanted to "grow up fast" and even then i knew it wasn't right. It just didn't feel right and it was illegal. Here is this guy that seemed to have everything going for him yet he risked it and screwed himself and his family. Then here is a school official and others defending his actions. I'm not religous at all but i would consider myself a moral person and thats all it took to not make stupid choices with my and their lives. This guy is beyond help if after all this he still plays "The devil made me do it" routine. Disabled? to get benefits: Suicidal? to stay out of jail. I love you?: to control you and it worked for a while. This man is dangerous and should be locked up as we speak. And yes parents should be the first to realize when something is not right but that depends on their relationship with their child. I wonder some times how many showers it takes to make some defense lawyers feel clean.

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  • PatriceDecember 11, 2013 - 8:53 pm

    Peyton, it sounds like you have experienced much in your life and have learned much because of it. All cases of molest are complicated. Why me, who do I tell, who do I not tell, do I tell??? The important thing is that no matter how afraid a person is of coming forth, they must find someone they can confide in. Someone to stand with them through the process of justice. Predators always have an excuse for their behavior and this is probably why in most cases they can not be rehabilitated. I believe the healing begins when a person does not keep secrets of this nature. Unfortunately, parents are not perfect. We don't always pay close enough attention to know all the details, but parents are the first people to be told if at all feasible. Yes, Peyton, everyone deserves representation and lawyers are necessary evils.

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  • peyton place observerDecember 11, 2013 - 10:11 pm

    Well said patrice, luck to you and cindy and many others.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 2:43 pm

    Peyton Place Observer, I'm not going to touch that one. But, I did enjoy went on to become the Chief of Police.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 2:49 pm

    Payton Place Observer, that was then and this is now. If today we are afraid to file a criminal complaint with our current Police Department, then we are in worse shape in Pville that I thought. But, one never knows. If the complaint is against someone powerful, then anything is possible.

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  • James E.December 11, 2013 - 2:52 pm

    *** than

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  • peyton place observerDecember 11, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    James I agree with your last statement.

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  • Put away every form of evil...December 11, 2013 - 6:05 pm

    "So kill your earthly impulses: loose sex, impure actions, unbridled sensuality, wicked thoughts, and greed (which isessentially idolatry). It’s because of these that God’s wrath is coming [upon the sons and daughters of disobedience], so avoid them at all costs." Colossians 3:5-6 "Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." 2 Timothy 2:22

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  • PatriceDecember 11, 2013 - 6:30 pm

    I get what you are preaching......in no way is it EVER the child's fault....got it?

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  • For Christ's SakeDecember 11, 2013 - 11:06 pm

    I knew it couldn't be long until quotes from Middle Eastern Mythology appeared! yay… Here are some goods one too: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet." (1 Timothy 2:12) "Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses." (1 Samuel 15:3) "You shall not let a sorceress live." (Exodus 22:18) "Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock." (Psalm 137:9)

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  • AD defends statutory rape?December 11, 2013 - 6:44 pm

    AD Dave Johnson "this is a travesty"... Hey Coach Johnson, travesty is too big of a word for you to use as can be seen in your incorrect usage. Whistle blowing and losing seasons are what you're good at so stop trying to sound smarter than you are.

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  • Wake up adminDecember 11, 2013 - 7:43 pm

    ^^^That has to be the funniest thing I have read in a long time. Dave Johnson is a legitimate idiot and should be counting his blessings for the case not going to trial, I mean it is his PE class the paper is talking about by freeman controlling grades, we know Rains wouldn't support inappropriate behavior like that. Supporting freeman being a convicted felon, good job Johnson. UM needs some change in the athletic department, get Johnson OUT OF THERE. Maybe if this story hits the media, Tony Deville will actually do something about it.

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  • Coach Dave Johnson speaks for Union MineDecember 11, 2013 - 6:51 pm

    "Whistling blowing and losing seasons..." from above. That's so ironic because Dave Johnson (Union Mine administration- Athletic Director) should have blown the whistle to higher ups and law enforcement about Freeman's abuse (having sex with a vulnerable 17 year old girl whose father was dying). Good job Tony DeVille, principal, and UM administration.

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  • Steven S.December 11, 2013 - 10:08 pm

    A, I couldnt agree more. You even put it in plain English so others can understand. As a peer, I totally disagree with the things he has done, this small town mentality is garbage. After all it is hangtown. Just think of worse things happening only 30 miles away. Sacramento is one of the biggest sex trafficking locations in the nation yet no one bats an eye. It just seems like this girl was promised the world then he didnt deliver on it so she more or less told on the guy. That doesnt make it right but lets just hang the guy anyways right?

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  • Steven S.December 11, 2013 - 10:17 pm

    For Christ Sake, haha you win the prize on this one. All these people calling for blood and the girl was months from 18 when it happened. Now 2 years after and they sentence him? How sad. His lawyer was right, what a gross display of the justice system. No wonder El Dorado County has a 92 % conviction rate.

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  • EvelynDecember 11, 2013 - 10:49 pm

    Steven S: Undoubtedly you know that it is the teacher who is understood to be the responsible adult, not the students entrusted into his care? "She made me do it" is not good enough.

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  • Concerned parentDecember 12, 2013 - 12:43 am

    Steven, you are ridiculous. Apparently you don't know the case at all. This went on for 2 years until administration decided to do anything about it, finally it was brought to attention that admin couldn't ignore anymore (probably in regards to penn state because it was big in the news at that time). If she "had told" on the guy, it would have happened a lot sooner. Plus, even if that was the case, teachers having sex with students, consent or not, is not tolerated. And just an FYI... His lawyer wasn't the one who said the statement in the end of the article, that is a CURRENT teacher at umhs supporting this "man". Get your facts straight, bud.

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  • Richard MarkhamDecember 11, 2013 - 10:52 pm

    JOHNSON NEEDS TO GO. ONCE AGAIN, THIS GUY SHOWS DISTURBING LACK OF JUDGEMENT. DEVILLE DO YOUR JOB. NO, just FOLLOW YOUR BASIC MORAL COMPASS AND ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF ONE OF YOUR OWN SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SANCTIONING STATUTORY RAPE. DEVILLE, ARE YOU THERE?

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  • Girls, girls, girlsDecember 12, 2013 - 7:17 am

    The comments above just validate that Freeman was the worst kept secret on the UM campus. It is easy to say why didn't someone turn him in earlier and much harder to substantiate at the action level particularly from the unaffected third party position. Any "false" accusation becomes the elephant in the middle of the room - no victim, no crime. The ex-mayor of San Diego is a comparable example with adults and look how many adults chose to not address their own crime. It took this victim a long time to come to grips with the crime and then be willing to pursue it to conclusion. The damage and one-sidediness of a predator act such as this is should not be discounted. There were initially other charges by other students, but this was the one with the commitment to see it through. The failure of the administration is that this behavior went on for a number of years and affected multiple students. Usually where there is smoke there is fire and a decade of smoke is too much for any responsible administration to ignore. Civil and disciplinary actions against the administrative food chain should be considered a next step for gross negligence.

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 7:23 am

    http://eagnews.org/parents-are-stunned-that-the-teachers-union-is-seeking-a-10000-severance-for-the-teacher-who-molested-their-son/

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  • EvelynDecember 12, 2013 - 7:35 am

    Cookie: Perhaps Dave Johnson will be seeking similar recompense for Mr Freeman?

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 8:15 am

    Evelyn, wouldn't we be encouraged if the outcry from the general public at large and especially the tainted media regarding the pedophiles in the union run school system at least matched the attention they have given to the catholic church? Political agendas even effect how crimes against children are publicized. EVERYTHING is political. Power, money, control.

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  • EvelynDecember 12, 2013 - 8:26 am

    Cookie: Child abuse, institutionalized in a whole variety of forms, is barely in the public consciousness.

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 8:40 am

    Agreed. Bullying in the schools is given massive media attention yet those abusing the trust and authority positions they have acquired is the epitome of bullying and the media does their best to ignore it.

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 8:49 am

    Ellie Nesler

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  • robertdnollDecember 12, 2013 - 8:56 am

    it's such an injustice how much money corrupt politicians put in their pockets by forcing us to have dogs vaccinated.George Washington would turn over in his grave

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  • maggieDecember 12, 2013 - 8:58 am

    Finally, this family can have peace. He manipulated and used a very vulnerable girl. 3 years 8 months...big deal she has to live with this for the rest of her life!

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  • EvelynDecember 12, 2013 - 9:07 am

    Cookie: Having been out of the country during that entire period I knew nothing of the case, so looked it up. HERE

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 12, 2013 - 9:25 am

    It could be worse. ~~~ LINK - Union seeks severance for teacher convicted of raping student

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 9:35 am

    Phil, you provided a link to FOX which gives it no credibility among our more enlightened non-reading groupthink lemmings. The closet they reside in has the public sector (teachers) unions held up in the highest regard and incapable of anything other than serving the public (taxpayers and students) interests.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 12, 2013 - 9:44 am

    DAMN!!!

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 12, 2013 - 9:50 am

    Sorry, Cookie. Is this better? ~~~ LINK - A teacher’s union in Michigan has reportedly filed for arbitration in an attempt to force a school district to dole out a $10,000 severance package to a former teacher who was convicted of molesting a student

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 9:54 am

    Just messing with you Phil. I posted a link to that story while you were waiting for the coffee to kick in. cookie65December 12, 2013 - 7:23 am

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 9:51 am

    In Colorado a six year old boy was suspended from school for sexual harassment because he kissed a female classmate on the hand. Too bad for him he wasn't a member of the teachers union.

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  • EvelynDecember 12, 2013 - 9:58 am

    Cookie: I'm convinced that in depth investigations would reveal that much of the trivia that is criminalized masks heinous adult crimes protected by the powers-that-be.

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 10:09 am

    I have been screaming about it for years. You see the things I am accused of on here. The Truth is I am just a decade or so ahead of common knowledge. Just like the unsustainable pensions. The average person is just now catching on to what I have known for 20 years. The media and the "powers that be" have been feeding the public a steady line of BS for decades.

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 10:25 am

    Hollywood has made a movie about the pedophilia in the catholic church. It is call Mea Maxima Culpa. I have never seen a movie from Hollywood about the pedophilia in the union run schools. Every publication, news magazine, newspaper, cable news, local news and network news has done some sort of in-depth, special report, extended report, special edition or what ever phony title they promote as journalism on bullying yet not a single one on the bullying of child molesting from staff, administrators, teachers and coaches. Just another form of organized crime Omertà. Protecting the unions.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 12, 2013 - 10:00 am

    Great! Now I'm a spamming troll. Fine. I'm off to Redhawk for Christmas shopping . . .

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 10:28 am

    What can you get at redhawk for Christmas? Perhaps a bow and arrow?

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 4:05 pm

    Phil, speaking of bows and arrows....http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/12/parents-boy-10-suspended-for-pretending-to-fire-pretend-bow-and-arrow-want/?intcmp=latestnews

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 12, 2013 - 10:33 am

    I'll report back . . . unless the news is terribly depressing . . .

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  • cookie65December 12, 2013 - 11:00 am

    Phil, more of the same from the most transparent regime in history. http://washingtonexaminer.com/stonewall-state-ordered-benghazi-security-firm-to-avoid-media/article/2540583

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  • Let's all have a round of "Cookies" & Milk to celebrate!!! Thankfully, another child victim vindicated of 'adult manipulating-childish games'! Thank God! The truth has prevailed once again!!!December 12, 2013 - 12:28 pm

    School drops sexual harassment claim against 6-year-old who kissed girl... Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News 5 hours ago . 6 Year-Old Who Kissed Classmate is No Longer a Sexual Offender A Colorado school that had been widely criticized for suspending a 6-year-old boy for kissing a girl on the hand has dropped its sexual harassment claim against the first grader, and allowed him to return to school. The superintendent of Canon City Schools decided to drop the sexual harassment claim Wednesday after meeting with the parents of Hunter Yelton, KRDO reports. The Dec. 4 incident is now being classified as misconduct. Yelton's mother, Jennifer Saunders, said her son had an "innocent crush" on the girl and kissed her on the hand during a reading group. But the mother of the girl, Jade Masters-Ownbey, said that Hunter had tried to kiss her daughter "over and over" without her permission, and that she supported the suspension. "Not once, but over and over," Masters-Ownbey wrote on Facebook. "Not with her permission but sneaking up on her." "I've had to coach her about what to do when you don't want someone touching you," she told the Canon City Daily Record. "But they won't stop." Hunter already had received an in-school suspension for kissing the same girl. Saunders said she understood the most recent suspension, but that the sexual harassment label was unwarranted. "This is taking it to an extreme that doesn't need to be met with a 6-year-old," Saunders told KRDO. "Now my son's asking questions, 'What is sex, mommy?'" The school district initially defended the sexual harassment charge, saying it expressly prohibits "unwelcome touching, such as patting, pinching or repeated brushing against another's body." "Our main interest in this is having the behavior stop," Canon City Schools Superintendent Robin Gooldy told HLN Tuesday. "Because the story is not just about the student that was disciplined, it is also about the student receiving the unwanted advances." "Our job as a school is to basically maintain a safe learning environment for all children in the school," Tammy DeWolfe, the school principal, told the local paper. "And that's certainly what we're trying to do here." Gooldy added that it was "strictly a school discipline issue," law enforcement was not involved and that no criminal charges had been filed.

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  • no punDecember 12, 2013 - 1:54 pm

    Hold on there, before we have patted ourselves on the back for having found the obvious solution to child behaviour do a search about a little boy who was raised as a girl. I've seen people out front at walmart gathering signatures for some sort of initiative to define sexual identity and therefore assign bathrooms. It's a Dr Phil wet dream.

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  • WAKE UP!December 12, 2013 - 12:33 pm

    It IS Time to protect ALL our children! Girls & Boy's! "Train Up A Child In The Way They Should Go And When They Are Old They Will Not Depart From It!" & It=Proper Training By Proper Adults! Both Boy's and Girls Need To Be Taught At A Very Young Age How To Behave. Hands To Yourself! Girls Cross Your Legs! & Both Girls & Boys Sit Up Straight! & Act Right! Children Learn By What They See Adults Doing! Little Ey's Are Watching You School Teacher's Mom's Dad's & Educators!

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  • Yes! Little Eye's ARE WATCHING YOU! So Act Properly Adults!December 12, 2013 - 12:36 pm

    For The Sake Of All Our Children & Youth!

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  • Amen &December 12, 2013 - 12:37 pm

    Amen!

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  • A Parent…&December 12, 2013 - 12:38 pm

    I Agree!

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  • s t bearDecember 12, 2013 - 1:31 pm

    Cookie the boy who was raised as a girl because he prefered pink needs to use the girls bathroom? Your much better at links than I.

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  • AnonymousDecember 12, 2013 - 1:47 pm

    I can't help but think that the scandal going public and everyone finding out contributed a lot more to her distress than the actual sex did.

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  • James E.December 13, 2013 - 9:57 am

    Former UM Student, your comment is illuminating.

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