PTA Member Accused Of Embezzling Money

A member of the Parkway Elementary School PTA is accused of embezzling thousands of dollars after the school noticed something amiss with its financial records. Full Story
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Concerned parent

Garland, TX

#1 Sep 10, 2008
I hope that "she" gets prosected to the fullest extent of the law.
Mad Mom

Southlake, TX

#2 Sep 11, 2008
I agree with Carrollton, TX comment but would also like to see compensation made to the PTA because our kids raised the money through the miriad of fund raisers conducted over the past several years. By the way, some people have said that the loss will be covered by the PTA's bond insurance...not so! The bank statements weren't reviewed monthly by a non-signer on the PTA account so the insurance is null and void [and who knows if "she" paid the premium anyway!].
Another Mad Mom

Mckinney, TX

#3 Sep 11, 2008
I agree with both prior posters. She should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and I hope her punishment includes having to repay in full, immediately.

I'm also kind of mad at the Board - how did this go on for a year and nobody noticed? Would you not think someone would have noticed at some point? And if they didn't - doesn't that say something about them?
LHS PTSA Board Member

Hurst, TX

#4 Sep 11, 2008
As a former Parkway Mom, I was just sick when I heard about this. PTA offers training and guidelines to keep this from happening, but can't police each campus. Each board HAS to keep their standards high. I've been on Executive boards for 5 years now, and I don't see how this could happen if procedures were followed.
I feel bad for the rest of the executive board. My daughter graduated from Parkway in 2007, but I'm sure I probably know some of the people on the board.
They are in my thoughts.
Parkway Parent

United States

#5 Sep 11, 2008
No other board members were involved in this. She gave the board false paperwork at each board meeting to be signed off on.

Under LISD rules you must have a background check to volunteer at school. Unfortunatley they do not make you have a check routinely. This needs to change.

The bank cashed checks with only her signature. There are 2 lines for signatures, but since PTA is not a large corporation they will not require it. This also needs to change. The bank should have at the very least called the school or PTA president.

The person who took the money quit her job last year. If she needed the money she should have resigned her position and found a job. Our kids and volunteers worked so she didn't have to. I feel sorry for her children, who are still attending the school.

All info has been given to the Denton County DA. The insurance is being checked into. No decision has been made.
Flower Mound Mom

Liberty Hill, TX

#6 Sep 11, 2008
What kind of false paperwork?

But if the Board knew that only one signature was required, they should have been checking statements and cancelled checks to make sure there were no unauthorized checks.
Panther Mommy

Mckinney, TX

#7 Sep 11, 2008
Agree with poster above. Controls to ensure someone was checking bank statements against deposits and canceled checks should have been in place, and if the Board didn't ensure that it was, they were not being fiscally responsible. And person checking should not have been the same person that was also writing those checks. That is so far beyond dumb, can't even express it.

Hope other PTAs learn from this bad example and check their own controls and processes.
Concerned Citizen

San Antonio, TX

#8 Sep 11, 2008
Obviously the policies and procedures of the entire Board need to be examined and changed. Surely one of the parents at the school have accounting/finance/banking expertise and would be willing to help the PTA create reasonable and safe practices to follow. As for the treasurer, she should be prosecuted. And the role of the President and executive committee need to be re-examined, as it is appalling that this took place over a year's time.
Buddy

United States

#9 Sep 11, 2008
there is no end to the greed of elected officials
Devils Advocate

Red Oak, TX

#10 Sep 11, 2008
I served as Treasurer for a local organization and monthly I had to account for all $$ coming in and going out. All books and records were reviewed by an accountant annually. I knew that before I ever took the job and have to ask what the H was going through her head to think she would get away with it.
A PTA Mom

Keller, TX

#11 Sep 11, 2008
Buddy wrote:
there is no end to the greed of elected officials
PTA are volunteers.... they are elected by the other PTA members (parents/teachers etc) of the school. But being "elected" is really a joke. PTA's are usually begging people to volunteer for their boards. It's not like there's a long line of parents eagerly awaiting to be on the PTA Board.

It's hard work and many parents give huge amounts of hours to the PTA... with no thanks or credit. It's sad that this one mom chose to ruin the image for the rest of us.
Nearby Neighbor

Southlake, TX

#12 Sep 11, 2008
I apreciate all of the work and time that PTA members put into their volunteer job at our local schools. But, it infuriates me to think that someone was low enough to steal from elementary school children!

To begin with, it upsets the heck out of me that schools, such as Parkway send there students (5, 6, 7, 8 years old) out to knock on neighborhood doors throughout the school year, to sell popcorn, cookie dough, coupon books, etc. to raise money for the PTA. This is a practice that I understand has become common for all students, including kindergartners. In my opinion, I feel this is totally wrong! But, that's another topic all together.

So, you've got our children out knocking on their neighbor's doors. Parents who are guilted into pedeling their children's fundraisers at their jobs. Not to mention, the co-workers that are guilted into purchasing such 'not needed' items. Then at the end of the year, what does the school have to show for? Nothing more than a thieving, so called, "parent" who will probably get no more than a slap on the wrist, such as a few years probation.

I sure would like to know what financial obligation they (the accused) had that was so important, it required such a lowly act of thievery? Talk about stealing candy from a baby!

What bothers me the most about this story, isn't the school's loss, but knowing that some inocent child has 'that' for a parent!
Parent and Neighbor

Irving, TX

#13 Sep 12, 2008
First of all, to respond to the last poster; I do not believe it is in Parkway's guidelines to send children door to door selling items. I believe they try to deter parents from doing so as it is not safe. My child goes to Parkway and I would NEVER allow them to go door to door. Also, the community which this person lives has ‘NO SOLICITING’ posted. It would be the parents' fault for not reading the sign or paying attention to guidelines let alone not using common sense....
Also, more in relation to the topic at hand; I was raised as a Catholic and as a Christian, I was taught that we must forgive.
Although I do not excuse what this person did, fortunately, our judicial system allows for people who make mistakes to pay their debt to society and move on with their lives. I agree that what this person did was wrong. As a Parkway Parent and as someone who knows this person, I was VERY UPSET when I heard the news, but now I realize that this person will need our prayers, and more so their family.
This person acted on their own, no one or no circumstance made them do this. Now it's time to pay for their mistakes and hopefully this person will find God and turn their lives around for the better.
My main focus is to do whatever I can to help the school recover; even if that means pushing the fundraisers a little more than usual with my co-workers and family. Then my second focus is to figure out what I can do to help the family and the accused.
We may never know what drove this person to do what they did. However, the answer is not to alienate them. We all make mistakes, sometimes others are bigger and more damaging then some but as a society and a strongly knit community, isn’t it our obligation to do whatever we can to help these people; both Victims and Accused? If this was a member of your family, would you be as hateful?
nissa

United States

#14 Sep 12, 2008
Stealing from childrens' fundraisers is a low life's income stream...

Why should we forgive someone that stupid and callous toward the kids? Let them do the time and repay what they stole, THEN carry the burden of a criminal record with them for the rest of their lives.

Couldn't care less what happens to the thief. It's the KIDS that count!
Devils Advocate

Smyrna, TN

#15 Sep 12, 2008
Parent and Neighbor wrote:
First of all, to respond to the last poster; I do not believe it is in Parkway's guidelines to send children door to door selling items. I believe they try to deter parents from doing so as it is not safe. My child goes to Parkway and I would NEVER allow them to go door to door. Also, the community which this person lives has ‘NO SOLICITING’ posted. It would be the parents' fault for not reading the sign or paying attention to guidelines let alone not using common sense....
Also, more in relation to the topic at hand; I was raised as a Catholic and as a Christian, I was taught that we must forgive.
Although I do not excuse what this person did, fortunately, our judicial system allows for people who make mistakes to pay their debt to society and move on with their lives. I agree that what this person did was wrong. As a Parkway Parent and as someone who knows this person, I was VERY UPSET when I heard the news, but now I realize that this person will need our prayers, and more so their family.
This person acted on their own, no one or no circumstance made them do this. Now it's time to pay for their mistakes and hopefully this person will find God and turn their lives around for the better.
My main focus is to do whatever I can to help the school recover; even if that means pushing the fundraisers a little more than usual with my co-workers and family. Then my second focus is to figure out what I can do to help the family and the accused.
We may never know what drove this person to do what they did. However, the answer is not to alienate them. We all make mistakes, sometimes others are bigger and more damaging then some but as a society and a strongly knit community, isn’t it our obligation to do whatever we can to help these people; both Victims and Accused? If this was a member of your family, would you be as hateful?
Well ... Right now it is way too soon to forgive and forget. She hurt the school and the children and people where raised "christain" or not have every right to be angry right now. This person did a dispicable and criminal thing.

I was raised a different religion from you and I don't feel it necessary to bring religion into this.

I was raised to know right from wrong and that IF I did something wrong I needed to be prepared to pay the piper.

You have every right to do as you please but so will we. I can not forgive this woman until she pay the piper and I pray she gets a little jail time to remind her the difference between right and wrong and that she gets rehab.

Fortunately not a Parkway Parent or neighbor.
Devils Advocate

Smyrna, TN

#16 Sep 12, 2008
nissa wrote:
Stealing from childrens' fundraisers is a low life's income stream...
Why should we forgive someone that stupid and callous toward the kids? Let them do the time and repay what they stole, THEN carry the burden of a criminal record with them for the rest of their lives.
Couldn't care less what happens to the thief. It's the KIDS that count!
Amen Nissa

Oh and to Parent and Neighbor - My family members would never stoop so low as to steal from anyone.
Panther Mommy

Mckinney, TX

#17 Sep 12, 2008
To respond a bit to Parent & Neighbor - I guess here is part of my problem: if it was a one-time thing, she took the money during a very stressful period, had a lapse of judgment, was temporarily insane, etc. I could very much see taking a more "Forgive & Forget" policy. But that's not what happened. She, with malicious intent and forethought, did this over a year-long period. Repeatedly. Clearly this was something she was OK with, knowing that it would hurt the kids, the school, and the PTA. And THAT I find unforgiveable and deserving of punishment.
Flower Mound Mom

Liberty Hill, TX

#18 Sep 12, 2008
This is in response to Parent and Neighbor who says it is not in Parkway's guidelines to have kids sell door to door, so who are the kids supposed to sell all that junk to? The family and their friends are expected to stock up on cookie dough and wrapping paper for the year? I long ago decided my children will not sell door to door and I will not try to sell junk to coworkers.

It's great you want to help the school recover. How much cookie dough do you plan to sell to your poor unsuspecting coworkers and relatives? I have a child still selling cookie dough. How many boxes should I put you down for?

I really don't care if I alienate a thief who steals from young children. Trust has to be earned.
Need to Speak

Hermanville, MS

#19 Sep 12, 2008
I just want to say that I have read everyone's comments and in one way or another agree. I feel that this person could have taken the money out of desperate need, but I also feel there is a possibility and likely probability that this person simply has no morals and will stoop to any level to please and satisfy themselves. I look at it like they not only stole this money from not only stole from a school full of children ad parents, but their OWN child(ren) as well. For this I am most outraged and appalled. How low can you be that you feel okay with taking money that would benefit your own children??
I feel for this person's kids and can only pray and hope that they have better influences than this person in their lives....
I think that our outrage is well placed on this person, but I also think we SHOULD pray for this person's family and what they are having to endure all because this person chose to do what they did....
Hear_Ye

Garland, TX

#20 Sep 13, 2008
And what about her children? How do you think her children feel? Its not their fault she did this. She should be prosecuted to the fullest extent, but please remember this person probably has children who go to that school. If so, I would hope the other parents come together to help her children in this time of need.

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