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No Support for a Teacher Receiving Death Threats from an Ex-Student

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by jolyn

jolyn's picture
In My Life

For the past 6 years I have worked as a teacher for students with emotional disturbances San Diego County. From time to time, parents acquire my cell phone number (maybe a student has a melt-down and I take him to the hall to call a parent, or I have to contact a parent during evening hours and the parents save my phone number).
Unfortunately, one of my former students was allowed to retrieve my cell number from his mother's phone. For the past several months I've been receiving increasingly more inappropriate and, eventually, threatening texts and voice mails from this student. I've gone to my district office and made complaints of the threats SEVERAL times in trying to request assistance with this matter.
On May 31st I received 4 voice mails from the boy (who is now an adult at age 18) stating that he was going to find my house and, along with other things, beat me, rape me, stab me and kill me. In a psychotic voice, he graphically described exactly what he would do to me. Obviously, I was terrified by these messages. I knew that I most likely needed to report this to the police in an official complaint, but I wanted someone from my district to be there with me at the police station to verify that I had done nothing to instigate any of these threats or situation.
I immediately went to my school supervisor for help. I was told that since this student is extremely volatile, I definitely need to go to the police however they (the D.O.) must "distance themselves" from the situation and I'm on my own. Since I began teaching, I have worked with some of the most challenging students in all of North County San Diego, California. I teach a regional program so I have students from all over the area. I have never once complained about how difficult a student was, even when I've come home covered in bruises. I've given 110% to my job without complaints, and I go well above and beyond the realm of a typical teacher in trying to gain assistance for the families in crisis. I have done this all with good faith that my school district would support me, if I ever had a problem with a student.
Never, ever, did I imagine that those who know how hard I work in my job at the school, and how dedicated I am, would react this way. After I was told that the district wouldn't support me, I went to my union office. The union informed me that there is indeed an education code stating that teachers must be protected when threatened by a student. Duh! Later, I found out that yet another teacher had been threatened by the same student in the same time frame as I had been and had notified or complained to the school. This student was arrested on June 1st for the harassment of that other teacher.
Since there are now 2 cases against the same student, NOW my school district wants to support me by requesting assistance through a school resource officer. I wonder if the SRO will be available in the middle of the night when this boy shows up at my door. Hmmmm. Doubtful. Because no one at the district was willing to help me, I finally went to the police on my own to formally file a complaint in person. I wanted to get my case filed before the ex-student went to court on the other harassment charge involving another teacher. AND before the student got out of jail! I was told he would have a court date in 'mid July', so I've compiled all phone records and voice / text messages. I've been waiting for 2 weeks for the officer to allow me to come into the local police station and drop off my documents. He called me at 7 this morning to say that he wasn't able to contact me all of last week because "his schedule was funky". He's too busy to get to it this week, so it won't be until next week that he has time for me.
I was concerned that we would miss the student's court date, so I went to the District Attorney's office today and informed them of my case and complaint. While I was there, I found out that the boy was already released from jail 2 days ago!! Throughout every step of this situation I have tried to gain assistance, but have been basically blown off over and over. At this point, the ordeal has completely consumed me. I live by myself and have no boyfriend. I don't know if I should be worried that this boy will actually carry out his threats or not. I have lost faith in the school district I work for. I am beyond disappointed in the lack of professionalism exhibited by each of the agencies. Although I still have a great amount of dedication to the kids that I know need me in the classroom, it's hard for me to imagine going back to work and facing the people that have made this summer "break" a complete nightmare for me.
Even my faith in human decency has been damaged by this experience. “The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency” ~ Theodore Roosevelt


San Diego, CA
United States
32° 42' 55.1844" N, 117° 9' 26.118" W
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Average: 5 (2 votes)