On yesterday’s Glenn Beck Radio Program, Glenn spoke to John Janczewski, a resident of Rose City, Michigan whose son was molested by a teacher, Neal Erickson, at Rose City Middle School. The sexual abuse happened on several occasions when Janczewski’s son was in 8th grade. The boy is now a sophomore in college. On July 10, Erickson was convicted of statutory rape on and sentenced to 15-30 years in prison. Six educators and one school board member, however, came out in support of the teacher and wrote the judge letters asking for leniency.
This morning, Glenn spoke to John’s wife, Lori Janczewski. Lori explained what happened last night during the meeting held at a local high school that would decide the fate of the educators who stood by Erickson. While the resident’s have demanded the teachers be fired, the town has expressed concern about the cost of litigation. Ultimately, the teachers did not lose their jobs. Meanwhile, the family has been threatened and had their property vandalized as a result of speaking out.
“I told you yesterday about the Janczewski family in Michigan that had their eighth grader son raped by a teacher… And then six teachers, spoke out against the sentence for this molester: ‘Neal has pleaded guilty to this one criminal offense, and he’s not a predator,’” Glenn said. “Last night I thought we had a chance of living in America again. Last night there was a school board meeting… All the neighbors and everybody showed up to vote: Are we going to fire these teachers? And the guy who was supporting the pedophile on the school board, he said, ‘Well, you don’t support the teachers. The town is going bankrupt.’ Good. Stand in line on the bankruptcy window. Everybody seems to be doing it nowadays. I thought it was a popular thing to do.”
Lori explained to Glenn how her relationship with her son suffered tremendously for many years as a result of Erickson’s abuse. She described her household as a “living hell,” as her son endured humiliation and embarrassment. Lori was a colleague of Erickson at Rose City Middle School, and she said that Erickson would threaten her son by saying she would lose her job if he said anything about the abuse.
There are approximately 2,000 students in the school district and about 300 parents turned out last night to the school board meeting at Ogemaw Heights High School. The large majority, according to Lori, was there to support her family. Ultimately, however, the teachers’ jobs were spared.
“They claim it fell under First Amendment speech when they wrote those letters,” Lori explained. “And they do not want the teachers to come back with a civil suit because it will bankrupt the school… What hurts the most is not one of them have come to us and apologized for their behavior.”
“It is their right to say whatever they want, but there are also community standards. You have a right to voice your opinion. You do,” Glenn explained. “But that doesn’t mean you have no consequence to that… But there are repercussions to your speech.”
The family now fears for their safety. Yesterday, Glenn told John that Mercury 1 would be sending a check to cover the cost of the burned down garage – but that money cannot possibly cover all the damage this family has endured.
“Lori, last night I got a note, and it said that you guys were afraid that your house was going to burn down because they already made threats,” Glenn said. “And they spray painted and then burned your garage down.”
“Yes. And that also took out our camper,” Lori explained. “And if my husband wouldn’t have heard anything, it had already started melting the siding on the north side of the house. I mean my child was in the house sleeping. I didn’t hear a thing. It could have ended very badly. It’s just a continual nightmare.”
“Your family has been through enough and I mean, I’m sure you have roots there and everything else, and I’m not for a guy to pack up and leave, but you have cancer. You are trying to heal your family. This is last thing you need is to, quite honestly,” Glenn said. “I wish there was more that we could do than a check to rebuild your garage, but there is no way to make up for this. Justice will come much later in life, actually after life.”
“We need time to heal, but we’re not going to give up,” Lori said emphatically. “We need to keep going because we don’t know who the next student’s going to be. And I don’t want this happening to anybody else’s family.”