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There Goes That “Teacher of the Year” Award

The Dallas Morning News reported today that John McDaniel, a band teacher at a Colleyville Middle School has been arrested for soliciting a minor online and having an improper relationship with a student.  While this type of story pops up in the news pretty much on a daily basis, there are a couple of special notes about this one.

First, John McDaniel was listed as Teacher of the Year going into the 2013 school year as printed in a school newsletter than has since been taken offline.  And secondly, the nature of McDaniel’s relationship and actions with this teenage girl are really pretty shocking.

From the DMN blog, the girl’s brother was reportedly digging thru her Gmail account and found that she was exchanging nude pictures. He told their parents and the story unfolded from there.  The allegations date back (2010-2011) to when the girl was a student in the band that McDaniel was teaching.  She would have been 13 at the time.  She claims that the two started chatting via Facebook, sharing issues with their families and that opened the door for McDaniel to begin creepy conversations.  Starting with telling the girl he thought she was pretty, and leading to describing that he masturbated while thinking of her and asking what she looked like naked.

Because the girl was unable to send digital pics, she left one of herself nude on her own cell phone on McDaniels desk.  He returned the phone, but only after taking a picture of his junk with it and leaving it on the phone for her to find.  This began a lengthy continuous exchange of dirty pics and sexting even after the girl had moved up to the high school.  The most recent exchange happened because she’d told McDaniel that she’d also sent nude pics of herself to a boy in her school.  McDaniel asked if he could see what she had sent to the kid and as the DMN reports, that is apparently what the brother found in her Gmail account.

McDaniel submitted to a voluntary interview with police and admitted to having sexually explicit conversations with the girl and sending pictures of his instrument.  The school district made a statement today reporting that the teacher had been put on leave and had been arrested.  In the same statement it is announced that “The field trip to Six Flags tomorrow for fine arts students will take place as scheduled with administration and teacher chaperones.”

(peet: if there was ever a place for inappropriate band trips to take place, its Six Flags.  Trust me)

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No Dirty Butt In Our Fountain

Last week a new greenspace was opened in Downtown Dallas.  It is called Belo Gardens and I now get to walk through it each way, to and from, my weekly “Chick-fil-A Monday” lunch.

It’s a beautiful place.  Really an oasis of native trees, grass and flowers smack dab in the middle of concrete, well, everything…  It also features a fountain that grows out of the walkway.  The trick, cool thing about it is how it drains into the square blocks that make up the path without there being an apparent drain.  There a spaces just wide enough between them that the water falls away, almost mysteriously… Really was enjoying the park and then saw this most obvious of signs.  Note, this isn’t any sign.  This is a giant piece of steel whose lettering appears to have been laser cut and powder coated.  This is one nice sign.

Now you can read the sign…

As I began to read it, I snickered at the ridiculousness of having to instruct people that wearing “water shoes” was mandatory.  But as I went along and realized that the city felt the obligation to also rule out “contagious disease”, “diaper changing” and “diarrhea” – well my Dallas pride broke just a little.