Lakota Teacher Busted for Child Porn made over $65K per year

Below is a story about the Lakota Teacher arrested for child pornography charges. For the thousands of you that follow this blog and know some of the history here, Ryan Fahrenkamp is #286 on my list of teachers that make more than $65,000 per year. Fahrenkamp made $69,456.00. That’s the kind of “quality” teacher that our tax money has purchased. My comments about the impact this has on Lakota are right after the Enquire portion of the article. Ironically, Doc Thompson did a piece about the value of teachers from a wage stand point as this story was breaking during his January 3, 2011 show. I think it is an interesting argument while at the same time reading the details of this child porn story.

Story from the Enquire by: dhorn@enquirer.com
A former elementary school teacher in West Chester was arrested Monday on charges of possessing child pornography.

FBI agents said Brant Fahrenkamp, 42, used his school-issued laptop computer to access pornographic websites and to store images of young men, including some former students, without their shirts on. Fahrenkamp is a former teacher at Endeavor Elementary School.

An FBI spokesman said their investigation began in May 2010 when Lakota school officials contacted the West Chester Police Department about a parent’s complaint that Fahrenkamp was sending text messages to a student.

FBI officials said a search of Fahrenkamp’s hotel room in May 2010 turned up a camera and the laptop, both of which had video files depicting a naked boy. Investigators believe the photos were taken in 2008………………………………………………..

Interesting choice of words, “former,” as mentioned above Fahrenkamp was receiving almost $70K a year while he was taking pictures of little boys at Endeavor Elementary with their shirts off. He was employed until August of 2010.

The first line of defense that other teachers would proclaim is that they cannot be judged by the actions of this demented man, Mr. Ryan Fahrenkamp. And I would say that’s true. There are always a few bad apples, and the actions of Fahrenkamp should not reflect on all teachers.

However,

How many times during the last levy campaign were we told that money bought us quality teachers? And if we didn’t pay the extra money in taxes, those teachers might leave Lakota. Right now, how many people out there think that Fahrenkamp was a “quality” teacher and what made him worth more than $65K per year?

On another philosophic debate, when talking about a utopia type of society, where teachers do the work of teaching our children while many parents trot off to work completely entrusting the lives of their children to people like Fahrenkamp, this incident proves that such an act is a folly. Fahrenkamp was using a school lap top to store images of several boys with their shirts off, several students from Endeavor Elementary, and if that cautious parent had not caught text messages going to their child, how far would this incident have gone and for how long?

The other issue is how the school system kept a cap on this story during the media blitz of the school levy of 2010. This teacher was arrested right after the first levy attempt of 2010 and all this investigation was going on during the last one that ended in November of 2010. How did everyone keep this story quiet, and why? This seems like the kind of story the community should have known about back in May. So since the Lakota School System kept the story so quiet, it makes you wonder what other stories they are keeping a tight lid on. I’m sure Fakrenkamp is not the only bad apple.

The pictures of the students with their shirts off from Endeavor Elementary dated back to 2008. The original arrest was on May 26th of 2010. The lag on this story is far too long. This shows that the Lakota School System was more interested in protecting their image than exposing the story. It is unlikely that the concerned parent was the first whistle-blower. It may have been the first alarm from “outside” the school system, but I’m certain there were other behavioral signs that some other co-worker was aware of. The choice was to keep it quiet when the public should have known. That says everything!

I’ll say again that Fakrenkamp does not reflect all teachers everywhere. But because of people like Fakrenkamp, schools will never be able to be 100% trusted with our students. Parents will always have to be a part of their children’s lives if they want to protect their children from people like Fakrenkamp. That might be an inconvenient truth. But it’s a fact of life that must be considered when assessing the value of the teaching profession.

Rich Hoffman
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior

www.overmanwarrior.com