Another Maryland teacher is facing a child sexual abuse charge.
Richard Brian Shemer, 50, was arrested Wednesday after detectives received information that he had been sending inappropriate emails to a student at Albert Einstein High School, where he worked as a teacher, the Washington Post reported.
According to police, the Montgomery County high school teacher developed a close relationship with the female student last school year. During the current school year, the student visited Shemer’s classroom, where they had conversations about sex and sex acts that continued via email.
The student’s parents alerted police when they discovered the inappropriate emails.
Just last month, another educator in the Montgomery County School District had his teaching license revoked after he was arrested for child sexual abuse charges.
Lawrence W. Joynes, a 54-year-old music teacher who taught in Montgomery County schools for 27 years, is accused of sexually abusing 14 girls in kindergarten to second grade at a Silver Spring elementary school.
Joynes faces a child pornography charge in Baltimore County, sexual abuse charges related to 14 girls at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School, and charges of second-degree rape and other offenses related to his alleged abuse of a middle school student from 1991 to 1993.
My heart goes out to the victims in these cases and to all the families in the Montgomery County School District.
Sadly, I believe the trend of teachers behaving badly is only getting worse.
Schools have always been a magnet for predators who want access to children, but technology has made it easier than ever for them to groom and abuse their victims.
Social media, email, and cell phones give predators an opportunity to speak one-on-one with a child outside of the classroom. The conversations usually begin innocently, but eventually they become more personal. During this grooming process, the predator will typically make an inappropriate joke or comment to test the child’s comfort level.
Finally, when the predator is confident that the child is compliant, he will make his move. The entire grooming process can happen while the predator is home behind a phone or computer screen.
While this is a deeply disturbing trend, it does have an upside.
Since many victims of teacher-student sexual abuse are compliant victims, they often don’t tell anyone about the abuse for years, if at all. But with internet grooming, predators leave a digital fingerprint, which makes it more likely they will be caught by parents or the police.
When a predator is exposed, victims begin to heal and children are safer.