Public school superintendents enjoy a privilege that Catholic bishops can only dream about–when one of their teachers get busted for having a sexual encounter with a student, the supers never get their name in the paper. In the case of the North Kansas City school district, six teachers were busted within little more than a year, and even then the super avoided all mention in the media.
The teachers are not so lucky. A one-off story about a teacher hitting on a student makes for good click-bait. The media like these stories, at least if the encounters are heterosexual. For this reason, Michael Jasiczek gets his mug plastered in the pages of the Kansas City Star and his sordid tale told.
Reportedly, the 42-year old sociology teacher and coach at Olathe High South began his flirtation with a sixteen-year-old student online in January. Things progressed from there. Jasiczek moved from texting to fondling to groping to an even more intrusive use of his hands, both on campus and off. Students who saw the girl either texting Jasiczek or interacting with him physically reported the behavior to the principal.
“Coach Jazz,” as the students knew him, won the Fox 4 Crystal Apple Award for Teaching Excellence in March 2013. Four years later, Olathe South suspended him and prosecutors charged him with three felony counts of unlawful sexual relations with a student. Jasiczek had taught at the school for more than ten years.
After the Star’s initial article on Jasiczek, another young woman reported to the police that while a student at Olathe South she too had a long running sexual relationship with Jasiczek. If she had not come forward on her own, no official would have known that for Jasiczek hitting on students was something of a pattern.
In Olathe, as in virtually all public school districts, teachers get busted, but the system goes unchallenged. No concerted effort is made to hunt down other victims. No trial lawyers scour the old yearbooks looking for clients. No reporters dig into the role teacher unions have played in “passing the trash.” No TV crews camp out on the super’s doorsteps demanding to know how he could have allowed these abuses to take place unchecked.
It pays to have friends in the right places.