Karen Brooks, a former Smyrna Middle School Special Education Diagnostician, pled guilty to raping two underage students. Her sentence? Probation! They could have set a crystal-clear example with her and given her jail time, but no, they give her probation.
According to Craig Anderson with Delaware State News (who has hit grand slam home runs lately by the way), reported the following:
In pushing for incarceration, DAG Dickerson described Brooks as a manipulative, highly-educated (three master’s degrees and 14 years experience) and trained educator in dealing with children who “chose students to wine and dine to get them into her web,” knowing they would not likely be cooperative with investigators.
What kills me with this one is the nature of her role. Brooks was in charge of special education for the entire school. She was in a position of control over a very vulnerable student population, that of students with disabilities. It absolutely sickens me she would take advantage of these students.
The prosecution read an emailed statement from a victim’s mother (reportedly unable to attend due to the flu) who described Brooks as a “predator” with “sick wants” who violated the belief that the school system should provide a safe haven for children.
How do you trust a public education system that violates your child in such a definitive way? What judge in their right mind would give probation instead of incarceration?
The attorney pointed to “numerous character reference letters” describing Brooks as “hard-working”, a “good person who cares about people,” and “a mom who loves her husband who will be (militarily) deployed overseas in 30 days.”
The DOJ countered those notions with some co-workers who described her as manipulative and not always honest, along with a family bond not as strong as portrayed.
How can you love your husband and have sex with students? The two go together like oil and water. I can’t fathom how any school employee in a position of authority would ever think it is okay to have sex with students. The all-too convenient excuse given by her attorney should not have held sway over her sentence:
During a 15-minute presentation prior to sentencing, Mr. Funk began by describing Brooks as a victim of childhood sexual abuse by age 11 with untreated mental health issues that weren’t diagnosed until her arrest in adulthood.
Are you kidding me? She gets caught and THEN the details of her past come to light? Come on! Talk about convenience! I’m very sorry if Brooks was a victim of sexual abuse at such an early age. But that doesn’t excuse her actions decades later. She was in a position of trust and she abused that position. And word around Smyrna was it wasn’t two students. It was possibly up to four! But those students would not cooperate and refused to testify. I don’t care if these students had feelings for her. It is rape when they are underage. Period.
We need our legislators to change the law on this sort of activity and change the felony status so there is guaranteed jail time for this kind of activity. If this were your normal citizen, they would be behind bars. Being an educator is not an exemption from justice! When I first reported this story last summer, I was hoping our justice system would do right by these students. They were victims. But Brooks’ attorney was able to persuade a judge that she was a victim. It didn’t seem like the sexual abuse of students was the most important facet of her sentence but rather her own issues. These students will be messed up for a long time because of her actions. Her Jim Jones-like Kool-Aid affect on them is manipulation and brainwashing.