Monday, March 16, 2009

School Employee Bought Liquor For Teenage Girls and Is Still Employed? Really?

I cannot believe that a school employee who buys alcohol (specifically, tequila shots after an Alive at Five concert) for middle school girls would NOT be fired. The Advocate article, titled "Stamford school worker charged with buying girls alcohol," starts:
A 25-year-old man who works in the technology department of the Stamford Public School System and is charged with buying alcohol for four middle school girls in July has applied for a special probationary program that would clear his record of the charges.

Um, I have some questions.
1. First of all, is the guy guilty or not? This alleged crime occurred 7 months ago; where’s the resolution? From what his lawyer says, he is guilty:
Seeger said one mistake should not mar LaRose's career. "It's an error in judgement," Seeger said. "It shouldn't cost him his future."
If he knew these were teens, yes it should. Well, I’m not trying to ruin his future; I’m saying, Stamford Public Schools are not the best place for someone who thinks it’s OK to drink with teenage girls and still receive a salary from Stamford taxpayers. There is a line you do not cross as an adult, and this man crossed it.

2. Does this person work directly with children? Does he work in a school, or is he like, stuck in a back room at town hall?
If the person works in a school building, in any way at any time, clearly, he should lose his job. When you work with kids, you don’t get to make “errors in judgment” like that. I mean, maybe you can say “damn” by accident. But you don’t accidentally arrange to meet teenage girls at a bar, which is what it sounds like this guy may have done:
The prosecutor, Assistant State's Attorney Mitchell Rubin, said LaRose was not as innocent as Seeger made him seem. He had contacted one of the girls on the social networking site Facebook days before, telling her he was a disc jockey and could get her into a bar, Rubin said. LaRose met the girls at the concert and drove them to the bar, where he bought them the drinks, according to the affidavit. Their chats on Facebook were not of a sexual nature, and the victim said the two were just friends.
(Lesson: find friends your own age.)

3. How did the man know the 4 girls? If he knew them from his job, he should clearly be fired. If the 4 girls were family friends, well, that’s still pretty bad, but it makes the man seem like a little less of a sexual predator.

4. Did he know the girls were that young? If I were to find out that this man had NO CLUE these girls were teens, and somehow thought they were 21 year old women, I’d give the guy a second chance. Right? It’s one thing if he was lied to. But if he had an inkling these were teens… forget it.

If I were a Stamford parent, and I knew a school was knowingly employing someone who knowingly bought tequila shots for kids, I’d be horrified. What school system would allow that? Clearly, we’re missing key info about this case. Stamford Schools owes us an explanation of why this person might remain employed.


Unknown said...

I have to admit< i am a bit weak on Connecticut's stuff on Booze. Now doing it in a public place is not wrong, but in this State, doing wine at home is wrong also. I think the Puritans won here. I grew up with a French father and wine was part of dinner and while I have never been drunk (honest) I think I have a healthy view of such things.
Now I know your point is about someone in the schools and that he is a potential predator all of which I can understand.
There are two further points. The first has to do with the zealousness of prosecutors in this state. They made a teacher loss her job because of some malware that came onto her computer while she was teaching a class. having dealt with this kind of malware in my neighbors computer, it was not her fault. I simply do not always believe what prosecutors say. So is the facebook thing fact or fiction? We may not know.
Second, they could do work as maintenance people, Yes that is working in a school, but child contact is minimal and a different scenario from a teacher, councilor or principal.
I guess I always wait and see what the real story is cause there are just so many suppositions that can happen.

Streets of Stamford said...

You could make an argument (albeit a weak one) in his favor if the girls were eighteen and lied about their ages, but MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS DO NOT LOOK TWENTY-ONE.

I don't think there's any gray area here at all. I don't care where he works in the school or about how he arranged the meeting. He should consider himself lucky if he only gets fired.

Mama Ball said...

Frankly, I'm in the "Get your torch and pitchfork" camp on this one. I do not understand how anyone can rationalize someone keeping their job in a school system after an incident like this. If this man bought my middle school daughter tequila shots at a bar, I would be raising my kids alone for the next 5-10 and visiting Hubby in prison -- and Drink Boy would be pushing daisies.

gms said...

It's been a while since I was involved in the pre-college educational system, but when we talk about middle school kids, aren't we speaking of actual "children" between, like, thirteen and fourteen?

Anonymous said...

@GMS - middle school kids are between 11-13 (6th, 7th, 8th grades).

I don't know that I'm in the tar n' feather camp, but definitely he should no longer be employed by the school system. There are enough good people looking for work now that there is no reason to retain this person.

No one is griping about the kids' parents. Where are they? What are middle schoolers doing going to bars at 11pm? This guy shouldn't be let off, but neither should these girls.

gms said...

pass the pitchfork, I bring my own torch.

Continued employment of this guy is insane, even if he is not directly involved with students.

Manager Mom said...

I'm sorry. Innocent until proven guilty is a nice theoretical construct until it comes to the safety of my children.

WORD EFFING WORD. Get this man OUT of the school system, STAT!

Unknown said...

If any one really missed it, what I am saying is be cautious concerning prosecutor statements and police reports. I have seen and witness too much to take everything as it is written. Agreed - IF they are middle school girls, the man (?, yes I would question the manhood of any person who really did that) should be shot, but I am saying I NEVER believe what I read in the newspaper and cautiously approach all prosecutor statements as suspicious. So be careful, there maybe some surprises in this open and shut case.

Stamford Talk said...

I am REALLY hoping there will be a follow up article on this story. There are already almost 80 comments on Topix, so I hope that will send a message to the Advocate that there is interest in the story. I mean, it is just a WEIRD story begging for more explanation.
Biggest question I am curious about: Does this person EVER have contact with schoolchildren in the course of his job?

anne said...

It's strange that that key fact was left out of the article.

Unknown said...

The advocate does that regularly - what you don't know about the Westhill Student that was killed the other day regarding "Horseplay" makes me suspicious of a lot of things. 1) The person answering the door had the gun out in his hands.
2) was a known drug dealer. 3) had drugs on his person when the police came.
Too much info gets left out and this is why I always reserve any thoughts about things that I read in the newspaper.