Rose City to keep 7 who supported teacher guilty of molesting student

Teachers that supported this convicted perv will keep their jobs. Photo Detroit News.

Teachers that supported this convicted perv will keep their jobs. Photo Detroit News.

Detroit News: A school board member and six teachers who have ostracized in Rose City for supporting a former middle school teacher convicted of having sex with an eighth-grader will keep their posts despite angry calls for their terminations.

Residents in this small northern Michigan farming community were unsuccessful in their bid have the board member and teachers removed during a school board meeting on Monday. The complaints involved West Branch-Rose City Area School District school board member Mike Eagan and six teachers who supported former middle school teacher Neal Erickson during his trial.

“The teachers are going to remain with the district,” Superintendent Dan Cwayna said Tuesday. “The board discussed this at length, weighed heavily the impact on the community and with their First Amendment rights.”

The case has polarized the community. Longtime friends of the educators had stopped talking to them. A judge blasted the teachers who wrote letters of support for Erickson, 38, that asked for leniency in his sentencing. Erickson was sentenced last month to 15 to 30 years.

None of the teachers has condoned what Erickson did. Instead, their letters focused on his 17 years of teaching, describing his popularity with students and teachers, how hard he worked and how often he volunteered for school functions. The teachers have declined to discuss their letters and the resulting furor.

Eagan also sat in court with Erickson’s family when the former teacher was sentenced. “I would still support the family. That’s who I am,” he told The News earlier this month.

Some residents have said they will pull their children from the district if the teachers weren’t fired. But the board wasn’t sure the letter-writing is grounds for dismissal. Board president Jack Money had said either option — losing students or fighting a legal battle — would financially cripple the cash-strapped school district.

Some residents in the town of 650 about 70 miles north of Saginaw also wondered whether the outsized reaction by the conservative community is fueled by the fact the student Erickson had sex with is male.

The controversy began with a lewd 7-year-old photo of John and Lori Janczewski’s son, taken when he was 14, that was anonymously emailed to the school board and superintendent.

The Michigan State Police contacted the son, now 21 and a student at Western Michigan University, and learned he had sent the photo to his eighth-grade teacher in 2006.

The son said he and Erickson had a relationship that summer that involved eight to 10 sexual encounters at the teacher’s home.

Erickson, who taught science and computers to seventh- and eighth-graders at Rose City Middle School, pleaded guilty to a single count of criminal sexual conduct as result.

Victimized by arsonists. Detroit News photo.

Victimized by arsonists. Detroit News photo.

The victim’s parents, the Janczewskis, also were targeted by an arsonist who set their garage on fire last month. No one has been arrested for the fire as of Tuesday.

Nonetheless, the couple led the charge to remove the school board member and six teachers from their positions.

“This is no longer about our son. It’s about all our children,” Lori Janczewski told The News earlier this month. “It’s embarrassing to us, embarrassing to the community, embarrassing to our children.”

The teachers do have a right to voice their personal opinion. Yet I would not want my child in a classroom with a teacher that supports a convicted child molester. Reason to home school.


7 responses to “Rose City to keep 7 who supported teacher guilty of molesting student

  1. Those that support this monster should be FIRED period!! What is wrong with people? How can they support a rapist who will do it again and again?


  2. The people in that community should refuse to pay taxes towards the schools there until they fix the problem. If I were a parent there I would move out of that town faster than humanly possible.


  3. We have one here that went to trial and resulted in a hung jury.


  4. That is so outrageous, that parents can’t send their kids to school with complete faith that the children will be kept safe from all harm. Well, let’s just hope that the inmates will “welcome their new neighbor” in the manor that is most appropriate. Inmates really don’t like child predators of any kind; I heard from an acquaintance who had been incarcerated that in one meeting who there was a child molester present, that someone urinated in his coffee when his back was turned. I would say that 15-20 years of this kind of treatment, plus perhaps getting to be somebody’s “bitch” will be most fitting for this guy. I hope he stays awake nights thinking about . . .just how he ended up there.


  5. Legally, school boards are agents of the state, created by the legislature and selected by the electors of the local school district to represent and act for the state in providing the district with educational programs and facilities. The Milwaukee Board of School Directors is the policy-making body for the school system, serving within the framework provided by law, the will of the local citizenry, and the ethics of the education profession.


  6. The school board member and the 6 teachers who wrote letters of support for pederast Neal Erickson exemplify the moral relativism and confusion of the Left and our culture today:

    1. What is at issue is not whether Erickson taught well, or his “popularity” with students, or how much he’s “volunteered” for school activities. What is at issue is his sexual predation of a 14-year-old minor.

    2. You can’t separate the “personal” from the “political” — a man’s (im)moral character from his job performance. Dirty old man San Diego mayor Bob Filner probably performed his mayoral tasks adequately. Adolf Hitler performed his “job” as Germany’s Chancellor so well that a majority of 31% of voters reelected him. Fascist Italy’s Il Duce, Benito Mussolini, famously made the trains run on time. Soviet Union rapidly industrialized under Josef Stalin. Even the Devil does an arguably “good” job at aiding and abetting countless souls to perdition.


  7. Perverts are welcome in Rose City, Michigan! On arrival apply for employment in the Rose City schools.


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