Barboursville, W.V. (The Weekly Vice) -- Melissa A. Brown, a 28 year old art teacher at Stonewall Jackson Middle School and her brother, 24 year old Jeremy Brown have been arrested and accused of robbing a Barboursville bank.
According to police, Melissa Brown drove the red Chevrolet Cavalier getaway car following the robbery of the First Sentry Bank. Her brother Jeremy Brown passed a note to tellers threatening he had a gun and demanding money.
The sibling duo didn't get far. The Brown's red Cavelier was pulled over by police Monday morning, shortly after the bank was robbed. The brother and sister tag team was arrested and hauled off to jail. End of story.
Well, not exactly.
When authorities in nearby Charleston learned the details of the Barboursville robbery, they found many similarities to a robbery that occurred in their own town just a week earlier. Tactics used in both robberies involved similar methods and a similar description of the getaway car. Police also say evidence found in the Browns' car tied the teacher and her brother to both robberies.
"It was determined that the details surrounding both robberies were identical," said Charleston Police Sgt. Steve Cooper.
"After the interview process, the suspects implicated themselves in both robberies," Cooper added.Parents who have expressed concern to school officials over the bank robbing teacher have been given a rather "Stonewalled" response from the school.
According to school superintendent Melanie Vickers, Brown's arrest is a 'personal matter'.
"We follow the same procedures when there is an investigation," Vickers said. "(She is) suspended with pay until proven guilty."
"We've got a lot bigger problems in our schools than having one teacher who drove a getaway car in a bank heist," said School Board member Pete Thaw.
The Weekly Vice Opinion:
Well Pete, we're curious what big problem your school has.
If your school has a LOT bigger problems than hiring teachers who are robbing banks each week, we'd be curious to know what else is going on in that school.
Refusing to thoroughly address parent concerns involving felony crime among your staff sends a strong message that your administration could truly care less about the concerns of your community. Apparently you've forgotten that your salary is funded from taxpayer dollars, Pete.
If your administrators are unable to understand why an event like this is disruptive to students who attend your school, there is indeed a serious problem.
If the school board is so aloof to THIS problem, what other problems does it consider minor and/or personal matters?
While a school can't be responsible for the behavior of every one of it's teachers, it certainly DOES have an obligation to take steps to ASSURE parents that their children will be safe while attending the school.
Every single day of the week a teacher somewhere is caught raping a kid, doping up or robbing a bank.
Keeping in mind that a person's child is under the authority of such individuals for the whole day gives any parent the right to demand that it's school answer their questions thoroughly.
If these school administrators can't handle the task of answering parent's concerns over something as startling to students as this, then perhaps it's time for those school admins to consider another 'less complicated' line of work.
A school administration is a profession, not a dictatorship. It's time for parents to hold administrators like Pete accountable for such unprofessional, non-attentive answers such as his. If he cannot handle the job, perhaps it's time to find someone who can.
Pete seems to have forgotten that he is not a Czar. He is accountable just like everyone else is in life. It's up to this community's parents to assure that he is.
The Weekly Vice