Yet Another Teacher Charged with Sexual Abuse

Lauren Harrington-Cooper
Lauren Harrington-Cooper

31-year old, Lauren Harrington-Cooper, pleaded guilty to charges of having sex with former students. Sentenced Friday to nine to 23 months of prison time, she must also register as a sex offender. The former teacher will also never be allowed to work with children again.

Harrington-Cooper was first arrested in December 2013 after a student’s parents found inappropriate texts on his phone. In January she faced additional charges after another 17-year old student came forward and stated that Harrington-Cooper had performed oral sex on him in a car. After that, even more allegations against the teacher surfaced from two other students.

Harrington-Cooper is certainly not the first teacher to make headlines for inappropriate sexual contact with a student. Here is just a small list of previous offenders (a quick Google search on any of these names will give more information):

  • Brianne Altice – This 37-year old female was arrested October 2013 for having sex with a 15-year-old boy.
  • George Hernandez – Video evidence shows him molesting a second-grade girl. He fled to Mexico and remains at large. He is wanted by the Huntington Park Police Department.
  • Summer Michelle Hansen – This 31-year old female was arrested for sex crimes against 5 children.
  • Mark Berndt – Los Angeles teacher, 61, convicted of felony molestation of 23 children.
  • Diana Leigh Farnell – This 28-year old female was arrested for having sex with a male high school student.
  • Rachelle Gendron – This 27-year old female was charged with five counts of rape after a sexual affair with a 14-year old student.
  • Kelly Ann Garcia – This 29-year old female is accused of having sex with a 16-year old girl.

Sadly, this list goes on and on. Are the people hiring these individuals not diligently performing their duties, or is there no way to detect the risk of this type of behavior by a potential teacher? Shouldn’t teachers be subjected to extensive background checks and psychological tests like that of law enforcement? They are, after all, also in a position of power; is passing a state-board test enough to allow an individual this power over children?

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