54 year old Thomas Washburn (pictured), a teacher at Adams Elementary School in Mesa, Az, became upset by something in the classroom and began yelling at the students. Apparently frightened by the teacher’s outburst, the 6 year old girl, whose mother says is “developmentally delayed,” hid her face in her shirt.
Hiding her face from the adult in the classroom only exacerbated Washburn’s anger. He turned his attention from the entire class to this one child, and demanded that she remove her face from her shirt. Why? Who was she hurting? Obviously, this teacher was beyond rational thought because at this point he did the unthinkable. He marched over to where she was sitting, and forcibly removed her shirt from her body. For 10 full minutes she was made to sit half-naked in full view of the entire class. The girl broke down in tears. Eventually, Washburn returned the shirt to the child.
At the end of the day he told her mother about the incident. Understandably outraged the girl’s mother contacted the school administration, who called local police. He was arrested at the school and charged with one count of indecent exposure – which has since been upped to 24 counts, one for each child in the class.
The Mesa Public School System issued the following statement:
“Thomas Washburn has been placed on paid administrative leave and is assigned to home. The District will use the police findings as the basis for any future employment action against Washburn.
“Our first priority is the safety and security of our students. Mesa Police Department is leading the investigation, and we are working cooperatively with them. Please contact Mesa PD for information regarding the incident and investigation.
“Washburn has been employed by Mesa Public Schools since August 2006. His only assignment has been a teacher at Adams Elementary.”
I am appalled by the actions of this so-called teacher. My heart goes out to the little girl. How embarrassed she must have felt. Like I stated above, he was the adult in the room. She had no one to protect her. She was completely under his control. Whatever repercussions he suffers are his own doing.