From Press Reports: MEH Teacher Jose Estrada Arrested for Sexual Battery of Two Sixth Grade Girls. Had Been “Counseled” by MEH Principal Not to Be Alone with Children

Cari Steele, An Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in the Arlington

Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office Reported the Following:

  • MEH Principal Ty Harris Told Estrada that “Under No Circumstances Was He to Be Alone with Children”

  • Estrada Touched the Girls’ Vaginas Over their Clothes

  • Abuse Happened  Almost Every Class Period

  • When One of the Children Started to Run Away, Estrada Blocked the Door

  • In Each Previous Jurisdiction He Worked, Estrada Faced “Allegations of Bad Behavior”

  • Each Time His Contract Was Not Renewed in Previous School Divisions

Why Did Estrada Keep Teaching If the Principal Barred Him from Being with Children Alone? 

By Sam Mabry

Reporting and Commentary

To Protect Children in School: More Important that Instruction.

Aside from the alleged sexual battery of the two girls, most troubling is the report by the prosecutor that the school principal, Ty Harris, had counseled Estrada and apparently had sufficient reason to require that he not be alone with children “under any circumstances.”  To determine exactly what Mr. Harris knew and when he knew it–what he did and didn’t do–is in all probability information that will not factually come out until the judicial process is underway.  In addition, at some point, the parents of the children may decide that civil action is warranted  In either case, the court of jurisdiction will determine what the citizens of Falls Church will eventually know about this matter.

What Did the Principal Know, When Did He Know It, and Was His Response Sufficient?

It will also be revealing what others in the school system knew about Mr. Harris’ direction to Mr. Estrada and why that requirement was put in place.  It is possible, when that chain of information is unravelled, that it will reveal a systemic failure of the school system and its board to protect our children?

That Mr. Estrada reportedly moved through three other school districts before landing a job in Falls Church should have sent up warning flags.  But it apparently did not.  The Interim Superintendent’s statement indicated that the school system did what vetting it was required to do in the case of Mr. Estrada–but nothing more even in view of his multiple moves between school districts.

If You Really Want to Know–There Are Ways and They Are Legal.

There are privacy laws that protect employees from retribution while they are seeking a new job but in depth conversations with previous employers can glean a great deal of information as to the worthiness of an intended hire.

It would appear that no extra effort beyond the minimum was done in the case of Mr. Estrada and that may be the reason why he now  stands accused of sexual battery of two of our school children.

Attitudes About Child Sex Abuse by Some in Falls Church May Concern Parents.

Mayor Dave Tarter spoke strongly and convincingly that the need to protect our children is a paramount community value.  He is to be applauded for his forthright statement.

Nevertheless, given the sexual abuse case that occurred at George Mason High School several years ago, coupled with the sexual abuse of the young girls by Michael Gardner, and the outpouring of dis-heartiung support that both predators received after they had been convicted or plead guilty by elected and appointed Falls Church officials, gives rise to the question of whether tolerance among some influential community individuals and groups has risen to a perverse level.

Note: The Post article is based on news reports from regional sources including Channel 9, WUSA, the CBS affiliate and its reporter Peggy Fox. Fox has covered a number of child sex abuse allegations and convictions. The following is a link to her on camera report on the Estrada arrest as well as a written synopsis of that event.

http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/va-teacher-charged-with-sexually-abuse-faced-prior-investigation/414516560 via @WUSA9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments on "From Press Reports: MEH Teacher Jose Estrada Arrested for Sexual Battery of Two Sixth Grade Girls. Had Been “Counseled” by MEH Principal Not to Be Alone with Children"

  1. How Long Does this Go On? | March 7, 2017 at 1:40 am | Reply

    Two years ago I had a discussion with Toni Jones regarding a math teacher mess at MEH, where they hired an improperly credentialed math teacher, then an incompetent math teacher who quit after a couple of months, and then finally a retired teacher who was called in to bail them out. That’s three math teachers in the same year for a group of kids and lots of drama and disruption in the process. Ty Harris was present for that discussion. Toni Jones proceeded to tell me a sob story about how hard it is to hire qualified math teachers, especially in middle school, with the salaries the school district pays. As much as I am pleased that Toni Jones has departed, she surely was at least partly right.

    The school system has lowered their standards such that they hire an Estrada, surely knowing that something wasn’t quite right, and then crossing their fingers nothing bad would happen. But it did. Big time. And there needs to be some accountability. I should say that MEH has at least two outstanding math teachers that I know, and probably more, and these people are doing the community a huge service. They are a gift.

    MEH, however, has a math teacher problem and probably a larger problem, and it is not new. That’s how a pedophile got hired – lowered standards. We should ask Ty Harris if Toni Jones forced through lower standards and casual vetting to fill the math slots. She did have that dictatorial way about her, with the blessing of the school board.

    We also know that there is an unacceptable tolerance for pedophiles in Falls Church, as we have seen multiple City Council members and other community officials and “elites” go to bat for known sexual predators. Isn’t it time that the community go on record, through the next election cycle, to send a message that insider and politically correct politics are not more important than our children?

    Finally, we have to ask ourselves if an expensive replacement of the high school is more important than the quality of our teachers, the proper compensation for our best teaching assets, and most importantly the security and safety of our students. What happened with Estrada was avoidable but also not surprising for those that have seen the inner workings of our school system. I expect our school board to address this situation, and I encourage our citizens to replace those school board members who choose to patronize concerned citizens and whitewash an inexcusable situation.

  2. Glad you wrote this. Clinton, Duncan and Benton–a troika of base pedestrian values as shown by their support of a convicted felon sex abuser–Michael Gardner–are symptomatic of the Falls Church Way. The geniuses on the Council and School Board want to spend $100 Million for a new high school and they run a system that cannot protect two little girls from sexual attack by a job hopping teacher. Shame.

  3. Mr. Harris showed no quarter toward a group of parents when he felt they were acting inappropriately (see below). If the prosecutor is correct, it’s tremendously bad that he didn’t use the same level of energy to protect the kids from the pedophile under his supervision.

    Excerpt from Huskie News dated June 20, 2016:
    …. Now for the part that I’m hesitant to address, but I need to say what I need to say and move on. A few years ago, I worked with Wake County Public Schools in North Carolina. I was present at a School Board community meeting where a group of parents were supporting the board members that sought to re-establish neighborhood schools and end busing. “Preservation of values” was a common theme and they claimed to represent those that were afraid to speak up. In reality, they represented a very small minority and never actually did anything to help the situation. They talked really loudly every chance they got and worked angles to get their own agenda passed. It was a toxic environment with people taking sides. The situation divided that community and they are still trying to get back on track.

    Given the current environment in Falls Church, I can honestly say that I am concerned. We have a number of people claiming to support teachers and promote preservation of ideals and values (isn’t that code for something?). Members of these groups have interviewed staff at every level and shared their “findings” about technology, curriculum, morale and other things. In some cases they didn’t interview anyone, they just took a rumor and passed it off as fact. To their credit, they have started discussions that folks in Falls Church should have been having for years. They also have promoted the need for more transparency which I think is critical to the success of every community. So in the spirit of transparency, let me share a few thoughts.

    At a time when we really need to come together, we have people that are focused on tearing others down. For example, instead of welcoming new staff and helping them get off to a good start we have people writing mean things and being unkind. What message is that sending to the kids? I can’t speak to anything that has happened in other buildings, but I can tell you that many teachers have felt intimidated and do not trust the people that claim to be speaking for them and this is why. In some cases, members of these groups actually lied to teachers to get them to meet or got upset when a teacher refused to meet. Some members of these groups have complained about promoting mindfulness, asked us not to teach Islam in 8th grade History (part of the State curriculum) and said that our stress-less day was a waste of time. They also disagree with our practice of bringing families together to discuss incidents between peers. The thing that really pushed me to write this was an outright lie about an incident that occurred at a school dance. Without going into specifics, a girl pushed a boy causing him to fall and the boy pushed the girl back. Both students received consequences consistent with MEH and school board policy and both families were called in and met with me.

    The bottom line regarding the groups is this. They are obviously free to do and say whatever they’d like, but they are dividing our schools. If you’ve never been anywhere else, it might be difficult to understand how damaging this can be to a community. As a coach I would say that we either stand as a team or we will fall as individuals. We welcome EVERYONE as community partners and recognize that there is always room for improvement and we will strive to include all stakeholders in decision making as appropriate. There currently exists a group called PEAC which stands for Professional Employees Advisory Committee. Teachers are encouraged to bring their concerns to this body who have regular meetings with division leadership. If there is a breakdown in communication, it should be the teachers that drive the change. I don’t doubt that some of these group members truly care about students and staff, but a few have questionable motives. Either way, the divisive tactics that have been employed at the elementary school will not work at MEH and I’m speaking directly to the parents of rising 6th graders. This year at TJ was a little difficult for some people but I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this class and I’m not going to let a handful of people negatively impact your child’s middle school experience. At MEH, we are a family and we are united. My apologies for the length and my sincere thanks to the many parents that have stopped Jon and I to tell us how happy your students are. See you next year!
    ~
    Ty Harris
    Principal
    MEHMS

  4. Wait, so is this guy fired and going to jail or not?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*