October 22, 2014 – Incident

A sexual crime involving a substitute teacher and a minor student at Options Public Charter School made the news today. I’ve copy/pasted the original article below. It can also be accessed at The Washington Post here.

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Substitute teacher at D.C. charter school charged with having sex with student

By Peter Hermann October 22 at 3:23 PM

A 22-year-old substitute teacher at a D.C. charter school for at-risk youth was arrested Tuesday and charged with having oral sex with a student football player behind her classroom desk, according to police and court documents.

The 17-year-old 11th grader at Options Public Charter School secretly recorded part of the encounter Friday afternoon, which police said happened at the end of an English class in Room 266 while other students and faculty members were at a pep rally to cheer on the Options Panthers’ as they prepared for a game against Perry Street Prep. Police said the student showed the video to five of his football teammates and a childhood friend.

The student and teacher then texted each other throughout the weekend, and the teacher sent him a clothed picture of herself while urging the student to “chill” because she could get in trouble for the relationship, police said.

Symone Greene, of Fort Washington, is charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, a felony. A Superior Court judge ruled that Greene could be released until a preliminary hearing Nov. 18, but put her on a high-intensity supervision program, meaning she must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Court documents say that after police called to question Greene about the classroom encounter, she texted the victim’s phone and urged him to tell authorities that she “only helped him with his resume and nothing else happened while they were in the classroom together.”

A detective had the student’s phone at that point, and the officer, pretending to be the student, engaged in a lengthy chat. Greene blamed the student for telling people about what had happened, according to a transcript of the discussion.

“Omg moe don’t talk to me ever again,” Greene texted. “I’m bout to be put in jail.” At the end, Greene texted that “This can ruin my whole life. Moe why couldn’t u just keep it to urself.”

Shannon Hodge, the executive director of Options Public Charter School, said Greene had been hired from a private company, SOS Personnel, to cover a one day scheduled teacher absence. SOS did not respond to messages left with its answering service Wednesday. Hodge said her school is no longer using the company.

“We are deeply concerned about what happened to one of our scholars,” Hodge said in a statement. “Our goal is to keep our scholars safe and secure.”

A police affidavit says the student was assisting Greene in a classroom on the school’s campus in the 1300 block of E Street, NE, in Capitol Hill on Friday. He had been passing out papers in two of Greene’s English classes and retrieving supplies. Authorities said the two met for the first time that day but flirted throughout the first class. Near the end of the final class, authorities said, the student gave the teacher his cellphone number.

A few minutes later, police said, Greene sent the student a text message. The two proceeded to chat, although the student deleted the messages and could recall only parts of the conversation, according to the affidavit. At one point, the student said he texted the word “kinky,” the court document says, and the teacher allegedly responded, “I don’t tell I show.”

The student told police that he returned to the classroom at 3:26 p.m. and that Greene let him in; he said that because of the pep rally, he had to leave by 3:40 p.m. According to the affidavit, the student asked for sex acts to match the number on his jersey. Police said that the encounter happened behind her desk and that the student used his cellphone to surreptitiously record it.

That weekend, before police got involved, Greene texted the student “not to tell anyone because it is not right for a student and teacher to have a relationship.”

The incident at Options comes at a turbulent time for one of the city’s oldest charter schools, which was founded to serve troubled teenagers and students with disabilities, focusing on the District’s most at-risk youth. Options has been under heavy scrutiny since city officials alleged in a lawsuit last fall that its former leaders diverted more than $3 million from the school through contracts to companies they founded.

The future for Options was thrown into uncertainty. The city’s charter board considered closing it down but instead allowed it to stay open for the current school year under court receivership. Two charter operators — including the current leaders of Options — have put in applications to take it over long-term.

Options was made over “almost from scratch” before it reopened in August under new leadership and with new staff members, according to the school’s court-appointed receiver, who submitted a report about the school to the city’s charter school board. More than 40 of the school’s 116 teachers and staff members are new employees, and many of those who returned were assigned to new positions.

Hodge, the school’s director, said a faculty member saw the video on Monday and immediately notified a senior staff member, who called D.C. Child and Family Services and D.C. police. Hodge said she assumes the video, though shared with five of the student’s teammates, “has gone viral” within the school community. She said administrators have not yet identified the players who originally saw the video. She said she would like to use the incident to instruct students on the inappropriateness of not only the alleged sex act, but also the sharing of the video.

“Kids of this age just don’t understand the consequences of this type of behavior,” Hodge said.

After the alleged encounter on Friday, the student and teacher continued to exchange texts, though Greene was becoming more cautious.

“When u trying to see me again?” the student asked, according to the affidavit. Police said the teacher responded: “Oo. U gona get me in trouble. Chill. We gotta be slick with it.”

At another point, police said, Greene told the student: “Tru but u don’t just be having sex with just anybody but I cant doe my body is taken for my boyfriend.”

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October 16, 2013 – Incident

I’ve just received a call from a concerned community member. Apparently just an hour ago (10a), several Options students on the soccer field behind the school were pointing “guns” at one another and yelling profanity. The community member said it appeared the students were supposed to be doing some sort of JROTC drill; however, instead they were yelling the “f” word at one another, pointing their rifles at each other, and pretending to shoot one another. This was witnessed by three adult community members – in addition to three small children in their care.

This incident has been reported to Josh Kern, the MPD, and the DC Public Charter School Board.

Welcome

After witnessing several incidents involving Options Public Charter School students and our neighbors, and then experiencing two very personal dangerous incidents involving students from Options and our 12-year old son, I felt the need to create a useful tool for the community to assist with the reporting and tracking of incidents and crimes involving Options Public Charter School.

For your own awareness, Options Public Charter School has made the agenda at the ANC 6A meeting already twice this year due to complaints from the community about the school and the students. After attending the latest ANC 6A meeting, meeting separately with the Metropolitan Police Department, engaging in a telephone conference with the DC Public Charter School Board, and meeting with Options, I’m devastated to learn of the magnitude of the ongoing issues in our community relating to the school, the complexity involved in reporting incidents, and the lack of identifying a permanent solution to ensure the safety of our families and the community.

Therefore, I have created this blog to assist you in reporting incidents involving Options Public Charter School. My promise to you… I will notify all key personnel of your incident immediately, and post all reports to the blog within two weeks of the incident. I hope this tool will lend a much smoother process for reporting and tracking incidents. Please make a note of this website, share it when necessary, and stay well.

May 31, 2013 – Incident

This afternoon an Options student was videotaped passing my house in a group, leaving the group to come back to my front stairs, and coming onto my property to get a closer look at my son’s bike, which happened to be locked to my front porch. I immediately contacted the school and shared the videotape. They were able to identify the student.

Contact the Police

Reporting your incident to the police is one of two key steps to ensuring the safety of our community. You can report your incident to the police two different ways:

  1. Call 9-1-1. Request/demand a police report filing number after you’ve reported your incident.
  2. If the incident involves the following only: lost property, theft, destruction of property, or damage to property, you can file a police report online: http://mpdc.dc.gov/service/file-police-report-online. Be sure to note any report filing numbers, tracking numbers, or confirmation numbers for your submission.