6 Ariz. teachers busted in '09 for incidents with students

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6 AZ teachers busted in 1 mo.
azfamily.com

PHOENIX - Another Valley teacher is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.

The Phoenix teacher is now the sixth Arizona educator to be arrested this year for incidents involving students.

Rosanna Brown, 49, a teacher at Ed Pastor Elementary was arrested for posing as a teenager so she could have sex with her niece's 14-year-old boyfriend. Matthew Conover, 35, assistant principal at Buckeye High School was caught exchanging sexually-explicit text messages with a 17-year-old student. Carson Junior High math teacher Jeffrey Schenck, 36, was arrested for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old student.

Coconino High School teacher John Francis Pertuit, 35, was arrested after being accused of having sexual relations with several students. Emili Kay Daniels, a teacher at American Heritage Academy in Prescott was arrested for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old boy.

Most recently on Tuesday, 46-year-old Tom Krepelka, a biology teacher at Shadow Mountain High School, was arrested for allegedly having sex with a 17-year old student.

All six educators were busted within the last six weeks. Though not surprised by these cases, parents 3TV spoke with say they are disappointed.

One parent explains, "I'm a teacher. I teach in the junior college and we're given a code of ethics and you just don't do those kinds of things!"

So why do so many teachers cross the line, risking their careers and their freedom? Psychologist Dr. Mark Wellek tells 3TV, "This has been going on since time in memorial. Wherever children and adults meet all kinds of things happen, good teaching, good caretaking, help and encouragement, sexual abuse"

That is why Dr. Wellek says this is an opportunity for parents to communicate with their children and for the schools to perhaps do more than just background checks.

Paul Liu, a parent, tells 3TV, "As a parent, if you don't speak to this about your children and, you know, it's not just teachers but anybody in authority can misuse that authority, not just teachers."

It is important to mention that the schools do background checks on all teachers but Dr. Wellek says that perhaps that is just not enough.