It seems like "bad teacher events" make the news in Utah every week nowadays. Just last week, on August 19th, 2009, former Millard High School teacher Kenneth Gillins pleaded guilty to five felony counts related to sexual abuse of a minor. On August 21st, Melissa Andreini, a special ed teacher at Helper Junior High in Helper, Utah, was charged with three counts of sexual abuse of a minor after she allegedly paid a 15-year-old boy $1,400 to have sex with her. Indeed, today a judge ruled that another case involving former Bountiful Jr. High teacher Valynne Bowers can now proceed to trial.
Now another "bad" teacher has possibly been uncovered in St. George, Utah. The St. George Spectrum reports that Bloomington Hills Elementary School teacher Douglas Bullock was arrested on Thursday August 27th, 2009, and has been charged with 12 counts of sodomy with a minor, a class three felony in Utah. Each charge carries a $5,000 bond. Story also picked up by KSL Channel 5, the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune, and KTVX Channel 4. An August 29th Spectrum story now reports that the complainant is an unnamed 16-year-old boy. Preliminary evidence indicates no force or coercion was used. Bullock has since posted $60,000 bond and is free pending a September 4th court appearance in 5th District Court in St. George.
Lyle Cox, the human resource director for the Washington County School District, issued the following statement:
“We are aware of the arrest of Douglas Bullock, a teacher at Bloomington Hills Elementary School in Washington County School District, and are very concerned about the charges. Mr. Bullock has been placed on administrative leave pending a full investigation. It is our understanding that no elementary school students were involved in the criminal activity leading to the charges. We assure the public the district will take whatever action is appropriate and necessary to ensure the safety and welfare of our students.”
District officials also believe that no elementary school students were involved so far. Bullock has a Facebook page HERE. I also found a school profile on Bullock HERE; he is listed as part of the Fifth Grade Team.
One person who knows Bullock has already posted a comment to the Spectrum story:
Doug is a amazing man! A wonderful Teacher, I worked with him for 4 years at his other job and also helped him out in his class room for a year and a half when I was in high school. HE IS THE MOST WONDERFUL teacher i have ever meet. I changed my son school because of him... Wow this breaks my heart.
8/28/2009 10:29:38 AM
More pertinent information is now streaming in via the comments on KSL:
Bloomington hills is not an easy school to get a teaching position at
by Ann B. @ 2:59pm - Fri Aug 28th, 2009
Mr Bullock had been there for years, as well as most of the staff. The school had been luckier then most st george area schools because it does not struggle with the ESL, and social issues alot of other schools struggle with, adding the highest tests scores in the area and strong parental invovlement make it a place teachers want to teach at. Each year there would might only be 1 position open and many teachers trying to get the job. The school was not like dixie downs, or east struggling with issues and trying to hire "anyone". The school did not do any new hires fresh out of college or with no experience, just experienced teachers, I believe the teacher with the least experience is 8 years? but most have 20+ years.
Ann B. @ 2:05pm - Fri Aug 28th, 2009
I believe he has been teaching for 20 years or very close to that so he was not some new hire. He was one of the more requested teachers by parents (I have kids at this school). He was pretty open (at least) to me about his sexuality. If you look at the school's website and see his pictures, he wore very trendy clothes and had some wild hair (I was surprised so well accepted at the school).
My kids go to this school
Ann B. @ 1:58pm - Fri Aug 28th, 2009
I have kids at this school, and first of all almost didn't recognize the picture of Mr. Bullock. I talked with him 2 days ago so I know what he looks like.
Mr Bullock was gay. Bloomington hills elementary is the highest rated elementary in southern utah. the students are from some of the most conservative lds backgrounds. Parents seemed to love Mr. Bullock and I was surprised about strict lds families wanting their child to be taught by someone who was gay. The repeated answer was what a great teacher he was. My kids were not in his class but his website was by far the best of any teacher, better then the school's website.
I do not believe Mr. Bullock ever claimed to be LDS but I could be wrong.
KSL's story is a bit short. He was arrested for sodomy of someone aged 16-18 so it was not an elementary school student(not trying to lessen what he did or is accused of but trying to list the facts.
Also the school has replaced him already. A new teacher is starting next tuesday.
Being "wonderful" and "amazing" seem to be common attributes of teachers who start romping with the students. Most seem to have a unique ability to "connect" with students and parents. They're like Pied Pipers; in the case of Michael Pratt, they even develop a cult following.
But where in the world do they get the idea it's O.K. to have sex with students???