Outrage after educators support student’s sexual abuser

Aug 5, 2018 by

desks in high school classroomMichael F. Haverluck –

After the sentencing of a guidance counselor who pleaded guilty to four counts of felonious sexual assault of a 14-year-old student was announced, a group of educators rallied behind the abuser, sparking parental outrage in Bedford, New Hampshire.

The community became incensed when a group school leaders and educators stood up to praise – instead of condemn – the admitted child molester.

“These highly educated professionals – the dean of students at Bedford High School and a guidance counselor in the Newfound school district – helped Torbick’s lawyer make the case for leniency in sentencing,” Fosters.com reported. “They did this though Torbick’s guilty plea acknowledges the sexual assaults of the student occurred multiple times.”

Repeat offender

The convicted counselor’s abuse took place in a number of ways … and thousands of times.

“Prosecutors say the sex assaults took place outside a movie theater – among other locations,” the editorial on Fosters.com pointed out. “They also say Torbick exchanged 23,000 text messages with the student, sending nude photos of herself to the teenager.”

Supporting the abuser … not the victim?

Bedford Dean of Student Services Zanna Blaney shockingly commended the work and heart of the sex abuser.

“[Torbick was] far and away the strongest school counselor in the department [during her time in Bedford],” Blaney claimed, according to Fosters.com. “[She] would help others to clearly define boundaries necessary to work with students in a supportive and productive way.”

In addition, one guidance counselor in the Newfound School District asked Judge Andrew Schulman to give leniency to Torbick in his ruling.

“I know in my heart the intent was for her to help,” the Newfound counselor expressed in a plea for sympathy, according to Fosters.com. “[Torbick,] too, has suffered a great loss … a loss of reputation, loss of credentials, loss of dignity and the potential loss of the respect of her children when they are old enough to understand what has happened.”

Changes and jailtime

Backlash from the community over school officials’ and educators’ support Torbick resulted in the head of the school district stepping down.

“Bedford School District Superintendent Chip McGee resigned last week after educators from his school district and others spoke in support of Kristie Torbick, 39, of Lee – a former guidance counselor in Bedford for five years who then moved to the Exeter School District, where she sexually abused a 14-year-old student,” Breitbart News reported.

Last month, the counselor was incarcerated her sexual offence victimizing the Exeter High School student who is enrolled, but surprisingly to many in the community, more than a handful from the school community came out in support of their sexually abusive colleague.

“McGee’s resignation follows Torbick’s July 9 sentencing – during which she pleaded guilty to four counts of felonious sexual assault and was sentenced to prison for 2½ to 5 years,” the Union Leader announced. “Nearly two dozen educators and other professionals attended the sentencing on her behalf.”

Parents incensed

The convicted sex offender’s support triggered a major backlash by parents and other community members.

Parent Nicole Boll expressed outage after other guidance counselors stood up to support a confessed child molester.

“The leadership needs to make clear and sometimes difficult decisions,” Boll impressed, according to the Union Leader. “Chip made this more complicated than it should have been. Chip says it was beyond his control – it was completely in his control.”

Another parent, Tracy Richmond, was also disgusted by school officials standing behind a pedophile sex offender.

“There is no gray area,” Richmond emphasized concerning Blaney’s support of Torbick, according to another Union Leader report. “You either support an admitted child rapist/abuser or you support students and victims. You cannot do both and you cannot be a dean of students and you cannot be our superintendent and lie to our community.”

Old officials out, new ones to support students?

On Friday, the school board accepted the superintendent’s resignation immediately after he announced it.

“I have decided to resign my position as superintendent of the Bedford schools,” McGee declared after serving 15 years with the district, according to the Union Leader. “It would be difficult for me to continue to lead the Bedford School District at this point because of circumstances beyond my control. I do not want to become a distraction from the continued good work happening in Bedford.”

A number of moves were made after the incident.

“The school board has appointed Mike Fournier to serve as interim superintendent, effective immediately,” the Union Leader’s Kimberly Houghton and Jason Schreiber informed. “Fournier has been principal of McKelvie Intermediate School. Jennifer Asdot has been appointed interim principal at McKelvie.”

School board member Bill Kassler expressed that much sadness and pain has been experienced by the school district as a result of the incident, noting that McGee turned in his resignation in order to start the healing process in the district and community.

“Nobody wins in this situation,” Kassler lamented Friday, according to the Union Leader.

Fornier stressed that student safety is now the district’s first priority.

“I think it is important that we start to rebuild trust,” Fournier proclaimed, according to the Union Leader. “And, I think trust is going to come with clear communication. I think it is going to come with transparency, and it is going to take some time.”

Much of the public outrage was sparked when Blaney gave the child molester kudos, while nearly two dozen more delivered their accolades directed at their colleague in writing.

“Bedford Dean of Student Services Zanna Blaney spoke at the sentencing and praised Torbick’s work, [and] McGee was aware that Blaney planned to speak,” Houghton and Schreiber noted. “Bedford guidance counselors Alison Mattson and Christine Mulcahey also were among 23 people who wrote letters of support for Torbick, who worked in Bedford before she left in 2016 and was hired in Exeter, where she met the victim – a freshman when the assaults occurred on multiple occasions.”

A probe has already been launched looking into Blaney’s testimony in order to determine the next steps.

“Matters of investigation and adjudication of personnel complaints are private and not public, and we are just not at liberty to share those details,” Kassler informed, noting that Fournier is now handling the investigation. “We have to follow an investigation and personnel matters in a way that is fair and that follows practices and affords all parties due process.”

Source: Outrage after educators support student’s sexual abuser

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.