Parenting

Substitute Teacher Who Had Sex With a Student Blames the School

Mary Beth Haglin, a substitute teacher in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said the school she worked at bears some responsibility for her sexual relationship with a student.

Haglin, who is 24, admitted she started sleeping with a 17-year-old boy at George Washington High School in October of last year. The school did not report her until May, and she was arrested last week. She attacked the school for not rebuking her or turning her in.

“These people all knew what was going on, and yet they turned a blind eye because they wanted to protect their school, they didn’t want it to get into the limelight,” Haglin told the local TV news channel. “They allowed this to happen, they knew in February.”

The school reportedly did not have concrete evidence of the relationship until May, when they submitted allegations to the substitute teacher agency. Even then, however, the agency did not immediately fire her, and she was allowed to work at three schools even after the allegations.

“Follow-up did not occur to confirm that the substitute was removed from the system entirely,” Marcia Hughes, a spokeswoman for the school district, admitted in a statement. “The District is currently taking steps to improve the communication processes to address this so that this will not occur in the future.”

Haglin didn’t just blame the school, she also pointed to her troubled history. “Previous abusive relationships led me into this, the environment that the school put me in didn’t help to curb anything.”

The substitute teacher didn’t claim that she was blameless, however. “I do take responsibility. I’m not shying away from this. I’m facing this head on,” she told the TV station. Nevertheless, she is insisting that the school also face recriminations for their delay to respond to her actions.

The sub faces up to two years behind bars and having to register as a sex offender for ten years, the New York Post reported. She was released from jail on Saturday and ordered to steer clear of her victim.

“I no longer have a desire or wish to contact or see this person ever again,” she told the local station. “And I don’t want him to contact me.” Her next court appearances are a preliminary hearing set for August 12 and an arraignment on September 1.