Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Secret Life Of The Principal's Wife

Colorado teacher and cheerleader coach Carrie McCandless is the latest female educator who has been accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage student:
A Brighton Charter High School teacher accused of having sexual contact with a boy while chaperoning a school camping trip turned herself in at the Jefferson County Jail this morning.

This is the second time in less than a year that an adult connected to the school has been investigated for having a sexual encounter with a student.

The teacher, Carrie McCandless, 29, is the wife of school Principal Chris McCandless. She has been fired from the school.

McCandless arrived at the jail with a bondsman at 9 a.m. to answer a warrant issued for her arrest by a Larimer County judge. She was released at noon after posting $20,000 bond.

Her first court date has been set for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in Larimer County.

She took a group of students to Estes Park the last weekend in October and allegedly wound up in a room alone with a 17-year-old boy at the YMCA of the Rockies.

An adult male was scheduled to go but had to cancel at the last minute, making Carrie McCandless the sole adult chaperone, police said.

After interviewing about a dozen people, police brought the case to the Larimer County District Attorney's Office last week and recommended charges of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

"I think the young man is very confused, and he's understandably hesitant to talk about it," Brighton police Chief Clint Blackhurst said.

McCandless faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.
More (with video) here and there.

Aside from demonstrating once again that when it comes to field trips, it's better for more than one adult to accompany students, this case does raise some interesting questions.

Why didn't the school system bring this matter to the attention of the police earlier?

And, if what has been reported by one of the above sources is true, why did the police only learn of the alleged criminal misconduct from a local television station?

Lastly, we have no problem with Ms. McCandless being suspended from her teaching duties pending the outcome of criminal proceedings, but as our justice system supposedly presumes innocence until being "proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt," why has she been fired before being proven guilty?
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