Teacher Stealing Kids' Money
♫ Look for the union label...♫♫

The principal "promised to investigate" then asked her to delete the video???!!? RolleyesRolleyesRolleyes Yeah, destroying all the evidence is usually the first step in any investigation.

Quote:Student hides in locker to catch a thief...and videotapes veteran TEACHER 'stealing money from kids' backpacks'
By Snejana Farberov
PUBLISHED: 21:54 EST, 26 February 2013 | UPDATED: 21:58 EST, 26 February 2013

A California high school student staged an undercover video sting operation to catch a thief in the act of stealing money from kids' backpacks.

But to her surprise, the footage captured a teacher rummaging through students' belongings.

Linden High School sophomore Justine Betti decided to hide in the locker in hopes of busting the crook who has been plundering cash from book bags during gym class for the past year.

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Teen detective: Justine Betti hid in a locker in the Linden High School gym to catch a thief in the act of stealing from students' book bags

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Undercover video: A cell phone recording shows a woman believed to be a veteran teacher opening several bags and allegedly taking items out of them

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Evidence: A second camera was set up in another locker also trained on the bench where students had left their belongings

After all the students left the room, a teacher hung back, went through the kids' bags and took money, according to Betti. When the girl told her friends about it, nobody believed her

Determined to obtain definitive proof, the sophomore once again concealed herself inside a locker on February 13, this time armed with a cell phone camera to catch the teacher red-handed. A second camera was set up in another locker.

She did not have to wait long: both video recordings made by Betti show a figured believed to be the educator opening several backpacks and methodically going through them.

'I didn't want to believe that she would do something like that because she was so nice, but then she did it,' Betti told KXTV. 'It was really scary. I was like "Oh my gosh, I can't believe I just got this on video."'

After watching the incriminating footage a couple of times, the amateur sleuth took the evidence to the school principal, who promised to investigate the allegations and asked her to delete the video.

By that point, however, Betti said she had already sent the footage to her father, and several of her friends who were in on the sting also shared it with others.

The teacher in question has not been identified, but several students said she has been at the school for 30 years and described her as a 'great teacher.'

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Startling revelation: Students at Linden High School said the educator in question has been there for 30 years and described her as a 'great teacher'

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Young sleuth: Betti was shocked by what she had witnessed and took the evidence implicating the popular teacher to the school principal

The woman has been placed on administrative leave pending an inquiry by the Linden School District and the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department, ABCNews.com reported.

It will be up to the district attorney to file criminal charges against the popular educator.

When presented with Betti’s footage, the teacher’s sister confirmed her identity, but said that it appears that she is looking for something in the bags rather than stealing cash, WZZM reported.

'She would never steal,' the sister said. 'She doesn't need the money.'

Betti said she grappled with videotaping the teacher in the act and making the footage public, but said her classmates have supported her in making the decision to go through with it.

'We feel like we did the right thing, but It's still kind of hard,' she said.

The principal "believes strongly in the system." What, the public sewer system? Was he out milking the steers the day they covered ethics at Stanislaus State?

Quote:[Image: 74532bd43ea031bd413acb11fb17478d.jpg]
Richard Schmidig

209-887-3073 Email


As a product of public education I believe strongly in the system. Born and raised in Modesto,I attended MJC for two years and obtained an Associate Science degree in Agriculture. From there, I transferred to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo earning a BS in Agriculture Sciences and a minor in Mechanized Agriculture. After graduation, I landed a teaching position at Linden High School and taught Ag science and Ag Mechanics for 22 years. Four years ago I went back to school at Stanislaus State and obtained an Administrative Credential. Working with teenagers and guiding them down their individual paths to success is my highest priority.
(02-27-2013, 02:53 PM)Martin Eisenstadt Wrote: The principal "promised to investigate" then asked her to delete the video???!!? RolleyesRolleyesRolleyes Yeah, destroying all the evidence is usually the first step in any investigation.

He was probably getting 10% off the top.

Not saying this is the culprit, but there's only one female PE teacher with 30 years experience listed on the school website. I wouldn't be surprised if she, um, wasn't married, if you catch my drift. Just the sort to be setting a good example for all the young'ens. She wants to "coach sports of all games." Chico State, way to go. Rolleyes
Quote:February 28, 2013 · 6:27 am
Our Sick, Sick, Untrustworthy Schools

[Image: hogwarts.jpg?w=600&h=399]
And you thought Hogwarts was dangerous…

. . . It would be hard to top the teacher who poured pencil shavings in the special ed student’s mouth (and who wasn’t fired), but I think the Linden, California gym teacher who was caught on video stealing money from her students’ backpacks gets the prize. She was caught when a suspicious student and aspiring Nancy Drew hid in a locker to see if she could solve a string of thefts, and recorded the teacher’s larceny on her phone. It gets worse: when she brought the video to the attention of the principal, he told her to destroy the evidence. Luckily, she had already sent the video to her father.

What has the student, Justine Betti, learned from this episode? She has learned that institutions often close ranks to protect their own, not those they are supposed to serve. If she had followed the principal’s directive, what would have happened then? As it is, the school is “investigating” and the thieving teacher has only been put on administrative leave. Justine knows now not to trust her teachers and administrators, at least I hope she does—especially if either the gym teacher or the conniving principal are still working there a month from now. (By the way, you readers who are constantly chiding me about my frequent failure to use the term “alleged,” news reports on this story routinely said that the video showed the teacher “allegedly stealing.” That’s nonsense. The video showed the teacher taking money from students’ backpacks. There was nothing alleged about it. It wasn’t alleged, it was recorded.)

Or, perhaps Justine has learned that the whole purpose of authority is to use it as an opportunity for enrichment. We shall see how corrupting this experience was, won’t we? . . .

Nice work by young Justine. How long before she has her thumbs and/or kneecaps broken in an "accident"?

I do kind of feel sorry for the guy who marries her, though. "I happen to know for a fact you were not working late at the office, you two-timing SOB..."
(02-28-2013, 12:50 PM)Albert Hidel Wrote: Not saying this is the culprit, but there's only one female PE teacher with 30 years experience listed on the school website. I wouldn't be surprised if she, um, wasn't married, if you catch my drift. Just the sort to be setting a good example for all the young'ens. She wants to "coach sports of all games." Chico State, way to go. Rolleyes

[Image: ThiefJoAnnMaxwell.jpg]
JoAnn Maxwell
Caught on video stealing from students

This article confirms that the "suspect" (caught in flagrante delicto on video) is indeed JoAnn Maxwell. Let's hope somebody gives that scumbag principal "a stiff consequence" too.

Quote:Student video goes national (UPDATED: 9:30 a.m.)
Girl hid in locker, captured teacher allegedly stealing $10 from jeans
By Keith Reid
Record Staff Writer
March 01, 2013 12:00 AM

LINDEN - Justine Betti curled up into a Linden High School gym locker on Feb. 13 with the goal of catching a thief.

What the 16-year-old sophomore didn't realize, however, is that when she caught veteran teacher JoAnn Maxwell allegedly in the act of pillaging through backpacks and stealing money, it would catch the nation's full attention.

From "Good Morning America" to the Huffington Post, Betti's story has gone viral. A Google search of "Justine Betti" leads to pages full of links to various stories about the recording. There are 19 video links to the story on the first page of a YouTube search.

"It's so big and crazy. It's way more than I would have ever expected," Betti said.

The Linden High girl's gym locker room has earned a reputation as a black hole for dollar bills and other personal belongings for quite some time, she said. Betti said she and her classmates started blaming each other.

On Feb. 11, Betti said she saw Maxwell - whose identity has not been confirmed by Linden High or authorities - take a friend's $10 bill from a pair of jeans.

Betti didn't think school officials would believe her, so on Feb. 13, she fit her slight frame inside a locker with her iPhone.

"I felt like it wasn't right that money was being stolen. I saw my teacher do it and felt like I had to catch her," Betti said.

Betti, a member of the Linden High swim team, said she hasn't felt any blowback for being a whistle-blower in the case, but she does sometimes feel guilty about how much publicity it has brought on her teacher.

The student's mother, Raquel Betti, said of her daughter: "She feels guilty now, but we have been reminding her that this is a story about what she did as a student. It's not about Maxwell."

The national exposure brings Linden, a town of fewer than 2,000 residents, into the spotlight for the second time in recent years. The story of convicted serial killer Wesley Shermantine helping authorities dig up bodies of his victims on property in Linden has been widely reported in the media.

"I know. We're not the city with all the bodies anymore; we're the city with the gym teacher," Raquel Betti said.

Locals say it's become the talk of the town.

"It's the buzz around town for sure," said Lesley Billigmeier, owner of a local fitness center, where she said customers come to work out and converse.

Billigmeier said she hopes people are focusing on Betti's courage and not the teacher's misdeeds.

"We raise great kids here. We grow the finest almonds and cherries in the world, and this is just a great place to live," Billigmeier said, adding that she's hopeful there will be a stiff consequence for the teacher.

Linden Unified has placed Maxwell on paid leave and began its own investigation into the matter, said Superintendent Michael Gonzalez, who is personally handling all media inquiries about the case.

Gonzales, who did not confirm Maxwell's identity, said details of the district's findings are confidential until its internal investigation has concluded - including an alleged order from Principal Richard Schmidig that Justine Betti delete the video from her smartphone.

When contacted by phone, Maxwell said, "I can't comment."

The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office has concluded its investigation and has forwarded its findings to the San Joaquin County District Attorney's office.

Raquel Betti said she believes it will result in a petty theft charge.

JoAnn Maxwell
Physical Ed Department
209-887-3073 Email

View All Teachers

About the Teacher

Subjects Taught
Physical Education, Weight Training

Isleton Elementary School

Rio Vista High School

CSU Chico

Orland High School: 1979-1981

Linden High School: 1982-Present

I am one of the lucky ones, who knew early on(7th grade), what they wanted to do when they grew up. I wanted to become a Physical Education teacher and coach sports of all games. I have coached field hockey, volleyball, basketball, softball and track. My love of sports has taken more to spectating, than participating at the present time.

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