The Janczewski family is fighting the local school district in Rose, Michigan after it emerged that a male teacher molested their 8th grade son and then -- unbelievably -- six other teachers spoke out against the 15-30 year sentence the man received.
“Neal has plead (sic) guilty for his one criminal offense but he is not a predator,” Harriet Coe reportedly wrote. “This was an isolated incident. He understands the severity of his action and is sincere in his desire to make amends...”
Neal Erickson was sentenced 15-30 years in prison in July. (Photo via WNEM-TV)
John Janczewski, the father of the victim, spoke on the Glenn Beck radio program Monday about all that has happened to his family since the horrific molestation by now-former Rose City Middle School teacher Neal Erickson came to light. He said he and his wife have been threatened and attacked for speaking out against the teachers.
"At one thirty in the morning on a Saturday, I was awoken to a bomb sound going off," Janczewski said, choking back emotion. "I went to the window to find my garage was on fire and engulfed in flames, my camper and the side of my house...If I wouldn't have woken up, we could've all died."
"Whoever’s done this has no remorse," he told the Ogemaw County Herald earlier. "They have no soul.”
The family also had the letters "YWP" and "ITY" spray painted on the side of their house, which Janczewski thinks mean "you will pay" and "I told you."
But why on earth would they be attacked for speaking out in defense of their son, Beck asked? He also added to the audience: "Do you want somebody who says 15-30 years for raping a child, an 8th grader, is a little harsh? Do you want them teaching your child?"
Janczewski said they're being targeted because they want the six teachers and a board member who sat with the pedophile's family in court fired. Some have also said the issue could bankrupt the county, but Janczewski persisted: "Since when do we put a price on a child? Since when? It is wrong. How many teachers are going to turn a blind eye? These teachers cannot be trusted, they cannot be trusted."
To top it all off, Janczewski was pained that a church down the road from his house posted bail for their son's molester.
Janczewski admitted he's struggling with his faith in God, saying: "My wife has cancer, I have [multiple sclerosis], my son was molested..."
Beck said he doesn't think he has seen a family "kicked in the teeth" as much as theirs, but his charity -- Mercury One -- will do what it can and at least rebuild his garage.
Janczewski thanked Beck profusely, and said despite the vicious threats and attacks, the majority of the community has been "so supportive."
"They made t-shirts in my son's favorite color, blue, and we are all going to be wearing them, and they all say support the Janczewski family," he said. "We want all these teachers fired. We want the board member to step down, which he will not. He'd rather cost the school district $30,000 and have him recalled, that's how sick he is."
The school board is expected to decide the fate of the teachers at a meeting Monday night, but board president Jack Money has cautioned that there is no "winning" in this situation. If the teachers aren't fired, many parents have threatened to pull their students from the district. If the teachers are fired, there will likely be subsequent legal battles. Both options could cripple the cash-strapped district, according to The Detroit News.
Circuit Judge Michael Baumgartner said during the sentencing that he was "appalled and ashamed" at the community's support for Erickson, saying: "What you did was a jab in the eye with a sharp stick to every parent who trusts a teacher."
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Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Rose City, Michigan has unequivocally denied that it posted bail for Neal Erickson.
The church's congregation council recently issued a statement saying the church did not post the bail, "nor were any church funds used to assist Mr. Erickson."
"We continue to pray for healing of all that have been affected," the statement concludes.
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