An Iowa teacher accused of sleeping with a 17-year-old student is blaming school administrators for what she calls “turning a blind eye.”
Mary Elizabeth Haglin says even the cops allowed it to happen after she’d been arrested for her illegal relationship with the 17-year-old boy at Washington High School, located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
She told a newspaper that SubCentral, a database for substitute teachers that spans several districts, also needs to take some of the blame, saying that they’d known about the allegations since February, but had ignored it to protect themselves.
The former substitute teacher is due in court next month, charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.
She was ordered to have no contact with the student after being released.
She spoke to a news station about the accusations, however, and claimed that the school knew about the relationship long before they bothered reporting it to the authorities.
She said she takes responsibility for her role and does understand she made a huge mistake, but says the school didn’t help things any.
She says even though the school was investigating, they still assigned her to other Cedar Rapids schools as a substitute.
She’d been released from Washington High School in the middle of May, and was assigned to work at Harrison Elementary, Oak Ridge and Prairie Creek intermediate schools.
Officials say this comes down to “a miscommunication”. Ms. Haglin says it was more like an intentional cover-up.
She says, “From April 17 to May 17, they knew…and certainly probably longer than that, probably since February when they first questioned me.”
“I’m not shying away from this. I’m not running away from this. I’m facing this head-on,” she continued.
She then pulled the past abuse card, saying, “Previous abusive relationships led me into this. The environment the school put me in didn’t help to curb anything.”
“These people all knew what was going on, but they turned a blind eye because they wanted to protect their school and didn’t want it to get into the limelight. They allowed this to happen. They knew in February,” she added.
She’s next due in court on August 12th.