Sometimes being nosy can be a very good thing. A Seattle-area preschool teacher on a Southwest flight to San Jose noticed the passenger in front of her sending text messages alluding to sexual abuse of children. Luckily, she saw the texts and reported him to authorities. Thanks to her quick thinking — and action — the man and another woman involved were arrested as a result and two children were removed from his Washington home.
According to the authorities, the teacher was able to read the messages because of a larger font that was being used on the man’s phone. “It was in large font, and she sees certain words and starts contemplating there’s something bigger there,” San Jose sex-crimes detective Nick Jourdenais told the Mercury News. “Then the conversation transitions to children. That’s the moment when she decided to preserve the evidence as best as she could.”
— Mercury News (@mercnews) August 3, 2017
The man knew the woman who was babysitting the two children. Both are now in jail because of this woman.
This teacher is definitely a hero.
“It’s kind of mind-blowing,” Jourdenais said. “She gets on a plane, a normal citizen minding her business. A couple of hours later, she’s intervening on quite possibly the most traumatic thing children can go through. This was life-altering for them.”
Teachers are mandatory reporters with good reason. Mandatory reporters are trained to look for and report any signs of abuse — including looking for problematic wording on emails and texts. We hope that those kids get the help they need, and we’re glad that this woman was able to stop the abuse.