Within the first week of April, reports indicate there have been at least four instances of teachers being charged in connection with sexually abusing minors. The relevancy of these cases occurring so frequently can’t be understated, as it comes at a time when Democrats have pushed back against efforts to deter the fostering of classroom environments where predatorial teachers can exploit their students.

One of these arrests came out of Fortuna, California, where a math teacher at Fortuna Union High School was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two students.

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On April 6th, 56-year-old Gary Landergen was arrested by Fortuna Police after “at least two students,” accused the math teacher and wrestling coach of “inappropriate and unwelcome groping and/or fondling,” according to officials. Landergen was booked under charges of sexual battery and molesting a child, which he has since posted bond and been released from jail.

In Lee County, Florida, a 30-year-old social sciences and history teacher at Canterbury School was arrested on April 6th on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim under the age of 16 and lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim between the ages of 12 and 16.

The teacher, Thomas Deane, had allegedly been communicating with a minor based out of Bonita Springs since December of 2021, initially on a dating app called Grindr – which is targeted toward the LGBT community – before taking communications to Snapchat and later having a sexual encounter with the victim.

The victim’s mother learned of the assault in February, and she contacted authorities which ultimately led to Deane’s arrest. School officials have since confirmed Deane’s termination following his arrest.

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Meanwhile, a 41-year-old former teacher who is already dealing with a case this past January for allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with a student is now facing new charges out of Linn County, Iowa,  – specifically, two counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee.

Back in January, Highland High School teacher Justin David Rapier was arrested on one count of sexual exploitation by a school employee after the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Rapier had been engaged in a sexual relationship with a female student at the high school.

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Come April, and now more charges are coming out of Lee County accusing the teacher of having had a different underage female student come to his home in August of 2019 and May of 2021, where he allegedly engaged in sexual activity with the child.

Moving on to Harnett County in North Carolina, a 27-year-old Harnett Central Middle School science teacher was arrested on April 6th on charges of indecent liberties with a student.

Authorities began investigating Shawn C. Hicks after the parents of a student filed a complaint about their child being victimized. Investigators eventually found two other students who were victims of Hicks.

School officials confirmed that Hicks was employed at Harnett Central Middle School from December of 2016 to February 25th of 2022 but added in a statement that they “cannot comment on specific personnel issues.”

Hicks’ bond was set at $50,000 and jail records show he has since made bail and been released.

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