Berks teacher began seducing girl in ...

Berks teacher began seducing girl in 3rd grade -- themorningcal...

There are 31 comments on the The Morning Call story from Oct 21, 2007, titled Berks teacher began seducing girl in 3rd grade -- themorningcal.... In it, The Morning Call reports that:

The picture of the smiling teacher and grade-school student is framed by the words, ''Friends Forever.'' It seems innocent enough -- an educator's token of appreciation for a prized former third-grade pupil who ...

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“Carbon Neutral”

Since: May 07

Berks and Lehigh Counties

#23 Oct 21, 2007
It's [not] funny, but so much of this nasty stuff seems to be coming from northern Berks County. This guy is a product of the Hamburg SD, the [alleged] pedophile tax collector from Windsor Township was probably one as well, and that young woman, the Sheetz employee who was posing as jailbait for those predator-catching TV "news" programs the same.

These offenses seem grossly out of proportion to the size of the community. What has been happening there over the years? This kind of behavior just doesn't descend on a community - it creeps in and insinuates itself until it's as embedded in the community as any other aspect of the culture.

I feel deep pity for Acerra and his family. I just wish someone would do some serious digging into what's going on up there.

A characterization which goes to my point is a joke about a Mattel line of "Berks County Barbies" which went around a year or two ago. Naturally there were the high-class, tofu-eating, and immigrant ones. The "Hamburg Barbie" was characterized as having a tramp stamp, carrying a six-pack, and having all the other features of lower- to lower-middle class people. Why does Hamburg have a reputation so extreme as to make a phony tramp doll funny to people?

I wish the Berks County Intermediate Unit and the PA Department of Education would send storm troopers in there tomorrow to begin the investigation. Maybe then we'll see where it's from and how far it's spread.

Hazleton, PA

#25 Oct 21, 2007
I would like to say that I AM a parent of a student abused by her then Third grade teacher. The problem is MUCH MORE widespread than you think!!! This "plague" encompasses every socio-economic sphere and is a disgrace to those who ARE SUPPOSED TO LOOK AFTER OUR CHILDREN. In our case, the teacher had been repremanded by the school superintendent and was still allowed to teach and molest more helpless students.


Since: Oct 07


#26 Oct 21, 2007
Awed wrote:
I'm a teacher. I'm a male. I work in a junior high. You have no idea how hard it is to be a good teacher without constantly thinking of these issues. It's hard for me, especially as a male educator, to genuinely show affect to wards students. To smile. To care. I'm scared to do so. Extra halp after school? Pfff..yeah right. Should I? Absolutely! Will I? No. Because I'm conscious of our society and I do NOT want to leave even a POSSIBILITY of some type of discomfort and/or accusation. We teachers are versed on this. School districts are devoting time and money to prevent/correct/eradicate. During professional development and faculty meetings, we discuss options, ways to assist without possible accusations. Examples, when meeting with a student, place yourselves in front of the door, leave the door open; when meeting with a child, have another colleague there; meet in the office; etc. Look, I don't want a child, boy or girl, to even mention any awkwardness. That's enough to earn print, to gain public attention, and enough to ruin my life and my family's. All because of people like Mansfield.(I take it the Catholic church is feeling the heat as well.) Mansfield has no place on our earth. He likes kids. There's no rehabilitation. There's no changes. I guess it's equivalent to my turning gay. I'm married to a woman. I like girls. If I had committed a sex crime and a judge ordered me to stay away from women, I presume I could...for awhile, but natural tendencies push for fullfillment. Unfortunately, Mansfield and the rest of the pedolphiles, caught and uncaught, like children. There will alway be children. I only see two options: castration or execution, latter preferred. Moreover, to attack male teachers is wrong, but I completely understand. I know what my intentions are; nobody else does. I know that. I always try to maintain an open dialogue with my student's parents, albeit usually email. I have children of my own too. They attend school. I scrutinize my children's teachers with a hawk's eye. I'm just as concerned for my daughter and her male teachers as I am with my sons and their male teachers! The world is crazy. Perhaps replacing teachers with computers is a good thing...I don't know. I love my job. I love teaching at the junior high level. Heather was 12 when all this happened; the girls in my class right now are 12. Sure, some girls are more precocious than others, but not one girl in my school would be left unphased by something like this. Many of you posters have it right. He was a man with built-in trust; he abused it to abuse someone, someone vulnerable. It's hard NOT to focus our attention on Mansfield after reading this article. Hatred oozes from us; prejudices surface, but let's not forget the victim! My heart goes out to Heather, and I pray that she's able to recover from this and live a stable and happy life.
It is so sad that decent teachers have to feel that way because of the bad ones. You have to be scared to send your kids to school, church, after school sports...What a sick place this world is becoming.


Since: Oct 07


#27 Oct 21, 2007
Anonymous wrote:
I would like to say that I AM a parent of a student abused by her then Third grade teacher. The problem is MUCH MORE widespread than you think!!! This "plague" encompasses every socio-economic sphere and is a disgrace to those who ARE SUPPOSED TO LOOK AFTER OUR CHILDREN. In our case, the teacher had been repremanded by the school superintendent and was still allowed to teach and molest more helpless students.
I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your child and to you for that matter. I hope your child is doing well. How could they let a pedophile back around children? That makes me sick!

Bangor, PA

#28 Oct 21, 2007
steve-2304 wrote:
Well it took a few paragraphs, but it finally made it in the story. Of course they're suing the school district.
I'll take heat for this comment, but what the hey:
If your relationship with your 12-year old daughter is in a place where sexual abuse, even by a teacher or trusted family member, is not talked about immediately by the child or not picked up on by you then you have failed as a parent in my opinion.
Sorry Steve - but I have to disagree on this one. There is a whole 'grooming' process where a pedophile starts preparing the child for sexual misconduct. In this case it took 4 yrs. The adult goes to great lengths to gain not only the trust but often the love of the child. Then he tells them how special they are. Finally child either is afraid, ashamed or is made to feel guilty so they never tell anyone especially another adult. Most of the times an abused child will tell a classmate who then will tell a grownup. This is not the parent's fault. We can not live in a glass house and mistrust everyone - it is a sad fact of life that pedophiles live, work and play amongst us and we don't even recognize them.....

“Carbon Neutral”

Since: May 07

Berks and Lehigh Counties

#29 Oct 21, 2007
Who started the chain of grooming and abusing in Hamburg? It didn't start overnight. My guess is at the grandfather level (two generations back at least) if it's natives.

The more insular the community, the more people don't talk about abuse.

Philadelphia, PA

#30 Oct 21, 2007
I know the girls mom she knew all along what was going on.Shes just as guilty as the teacher.Im not saying what the teacher did was right but the mom knew it was going on and of course now they are suing the school and they:ll get a fortune at tax payers expense.
out loud


#31 Oct 21, 2007
<<<The more insular the community, the more people don't talk about abuse.>>>>
I live near a town that is very insulated. Everyone seems to be related. I heard a story years ago about a man who had money and status, was president of a volunteer organization. His daughter in law told me that he sexually abused children for decades- boys and girls. Everyone knew he was doing it, even the police were aware of his dirty secret.. The daughter in law told me he spent a lot of money on it. By "on it' it was never clear that he bribed the victims families or they extorted money from him to pay for their silence. His relatives kept quiet because they didn't want to written out of his will. Surprise, surprise surprise, when he died they discovered he had no money left.
So these pockets of secrets and deviate behavior are much more common then suspected. They handle these secrets the old fashion way. They circle the wagons and created perpetrators of abuse for decades. The silence passes form on generation to another.

Northampton, PA

#32 Oct 21, 2007
I am always amazed/sickened at how patient pedophiles are ... they cultivate several potential victims at a time ...

yes, their deliberate acts over the course of years, of building trust before stealing it.
Don't ever underestimate the pedophile!

Thank God and the justice system another one is in jail. May they all join him soon!
Heavy rumors

Stroudsburg, PA

#33 Oct 21, 2007
Keep checking out the Meghan's List. Not all of the ped's are on because they aren't all caught...YET. Hopefully more victims will expose these preying creatures. They are out there, plenty of them.

Bradford, PA

#34 Oct 21, 2007
The lack of morals and ethics in society are finally catching up with us. All the background checks in the world will not solve the scourge of teachers and priests who now take for granted the parents trust in them. We will read more about this sad situation. Maybe it is time to have cameras in the classrooms, gyms, confessionals, for the protection of the innocent victims of these authority figures.

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