Parents who send their children to Prince William County Schools are struggling for some explanation as to how four different teachers in Virginia’s second largest school system have been arrested on charges of having inappropriate contact with students.
“I think they need to do a better job at background checking,” said parent Lashonda Bracey.
Each of the teachers is facing separate, inappropriate relations with student charges.
On April 1st, police responded to investigate an alleged sexual assault between a 16-year-old student and a teacher at a Gar-Field High School. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 16-year-old male of Woodbridge, had been having an inappropriate relationship with 27-year-old Tina Amato of Fredericksburg, over the period of a year. She is an English teacher.
School officials became aware of the relationship on April 1st and immediately notified police. The accused was arrested without incident.
On April 8th, police responded to investigate an alleged sexual assault between a 17-year-old student and the accused, 27-year-old Eric Lewis of Quantico. The investigation revealed that the victim, a now 17-year-old female, had been involved in an inappropriate relationship with Lewis, in 2008, while he was a substitute teacher at Potomac High School.
School officials became aware of the relationship on April 7th and notified police.
On May 6th police arrested Beville Middle School teacher Lawrence Eric Lucchetti, 33, of Alexandria and charged him with taking indecent liberties by a custodian and aggravated sexual battery. Police said he inappropriately touched the victim, a 12-year-old female.
On May 11, police arrested David Blount, 62, of Stafford, and charged him with attempted indecent liberties by a custodian. He is accused of inappropriately touching a student while at the school.
Before any teacher stands before a classroom of children of any age in Prince William County, they must go through a criminal background check.
But if there isn’t an arrest record, there’s nothing to be detected. Prince William County officials also emphasize that each of the county’s teachers must go through special training to understand what actions are not appropriate toward students.
Prince William County schools provides personal safety lessons in its curriculum during the elementary school years. Some believe the increase in reports of inappropriate behavior may be due to the level of awareness on the part of students.
“If it's kindergartners, I'd be more scared,” said student Chantal Ricketts. “High school, it could it seems more obvious that it could be not just the teacher's fault, it could be the students fault.”