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10 Terrible Teachers: Lessons in What Not to Do

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on August 23, 2013 9:36 AM

As the school year begins anew, parents may recall some of the more nefarious teachers they had to deal with in grades K-12. But probably few, if any, were bad enough to be criminal.

Not so with these egregious educators, who may exemplify the Pink Floyd cry of "Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone!"

Here are 10 terrible teachers we've covered in recent years:

  1. Sarah Jane Lindsay. This South Carolina teacher should have helped herself to some Common Sense 101 before she allegedly invited more than 10 teenagers to her drunken ragers, where in some cases she had sexual contact with minors.
  2. Melinda Dennehy. A former New Hampshire high school teacher, Dennehy gave some extra credit viewing to a 15-year-old student when she sexted four naked pictures to the boy, landing her with a sentence for misdemeanor exposure.
  3. Bruce Clevenger. Clevenger worked with emotionally disturbed students in Oregon, but he lost his cool in a fit of road rage so serious that he was charged with two counts of assault and a hit-and-run.
  4. Brittni Nicole Colleps. You think having sex with one student is bad? Everything is bigger in the Lone Star State, and with this English teacher's five sexual relationships with students, she's serving a Texas-sized sentence in prison.
  5. Jennah Billeter. Special education teachers are given a large degree of trust in caring for their students, which makes Billeter's abuse of two autistic boys all the more heinous.
  6. Mark Berndt. This Los Angeles teacher allegedly thought it would be a good idea to blindfold 23 elementary school students, feed them his semen, and ask them how it tasted, which may explain why he was held on $23 million bail. Berndt has pleaded not guilty to charges of performing lewd acts on children.
  7. Esther Irene Stokes. Attempting to defend herself from allegations of molesting a 7-year-old black female student in her class, Stokes claimed that she "doesn't even like to touch black children on their hand." Too racist to molest?
  8. James Pepe. A veteran teacher at a Florida high school, Pepe ordered a hit on a rival teacher, but he was busted by an undercover police officer -- who did his homework.
  9. Cynthia Ambrose. This Texas teacher was slapped with a misdemeanor for ordering her students to line up and hit a 6-year-old student who was acting like a bully. Turns out mob justice isn't on the kindergarten curriculum.
  10. Kelly McKenzy Watson. When this teacher started dating a former student, California law enforcement gave her a quick lesson on statutory rape: The age of consent in California is 18.

Your childhood teachers may not have always been peachy, but they probably look pretty rosy next to these bad apples.

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