Instagram | milathedwarf

Teachers Reveal What It Was Like Teaching Kids Who Grew Up To Be Criminals

Paddy Clarke 11 Nov 2019

The teachers that we have throughout our educational life play a much larger part in shaping who we become as people than we may often think. They help us grow, and their influence can often be a profoundly positive one.

Once we leave a teacher's care, however, our paths will likely never cross again. Although, one common time that teachers will be reminded of their previous students, is if they read about them in the news. So, with the aim of finding out what new-worthy criminals were like as children, one Redditor posed the question, "Teachers who have taught future murderers and major criminals, what were they like when they were under your tutelage?"

Hundreds of teachers took to the comments, and here are some of the most horrific, shocking, and tragic stories that they had to tell.

1. Multiple Murder

Unsplash | Matthew Ansley

"One of my former students murdered two people, apparently on a drug deal gone wrong. He is now serving life in prison.

I had him in first grade. Sweet kid, highly intelligent. Seriously, he was reading on a third-grade level...despite the fact that he came in late every day. Not just ten or fifteen minutes late, usually he would come in around 10:00. Dad was not in the picture and Mom was unconcerned about his education. I tried everything I could to impress on her just how intelligent her son was and how he had a very bright future but that he needed to be in school. She honestly didn’t seem to care. He later dropped out when he was in high school, joined a gang, and things snowballed." — LyricalWillow

The person who wrote this lamented that it was such a waste, seeing as how the child had such a potentially bright future ahead of them.

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2. Killing The School Pets

Instagram | hellobowie

"When I first started working as the English teacher at a public elementary school in Tokyo, one of the teachers was telling me about how the class's pet dwarf hamster Totoro had gotten out of his cage and accidentally been stepped on [...]

A few weeks later, one of the other class's pet guinea pig 'got out' of his cage and was stepped on as well. Like, stomped flat. Very messy - and someone had clearly used some tissues to clean off their shoes before leaving the room. All of the students wear the same kind of in-school slippers, so it's not like we could go CSI on the situation and figure it out by shoe print, but one of the other teachers noticed that one girl in her class, a fifth-grader, had some suspicious reddish smears on the edges of one of her shoes." — Vomix

This girl was reportedly moved to another school, where she ended up assaulting another classmate by pushing her down a flight of stairs then kicking her severely.

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3. One Stupid Mistake

Instagram | bkmuso

"I was a school teacher for 15 years. I have taught two murderers:

  1. Young girl, she killed another student at a party. Her life ruined in one stupid moment. I think though she is most likely out now but don't know where she is. At school, she didn’t listen, bad attitude. Her dad is a gang member so she was raised to be ruthless.

  2. He was a cheeky but nice boy. If you treated him well he would give you the same respect but hell, you f*cked with him that was it. Very low tolerance - did not manage his anger well. He was always very courteous to me so it was sad to hear he killed an elderly man after the old man yelled at him. So senseless. He never really had a chance. His older brother in jail for murder as well." — das0nzo

The phrase "one stupid mistake" really resonated with other people on the thread. The idea that some of these kids who clearly have issues stemming from elsewhere in their lives simply snap, and let one moment affect the rest of their life and the lives of those around them is hard to come to terms with.

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4. Planned A Shooting

Unsplash | Trung Pham Quoc

"While I was a student teacher, I taught a young man who planned a school shooting for the night of his prom. He had weapons and apparently fully intended to harm his classmates, but was arrested after he made some alarming comments. He seemed like a nice kid, but very strange and withdrawn. He used to try to make jokes and witty comments, but was just awkward and got shut down a lot. Honestly, he was exactly what you imagine a kid who has been bullied but still tries to make friends would be like. I suspect he was on the spectrum as well, but never diagnosed.

I feel bad for him despite the terrible things he planned to do." — Ham_Kitten

The student ended up serving a sixth-month prison sentence. However, the other students in the class raised a lot of funds for a mental health charity, and still had their prom, which is amazing.

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5. Defending His Sister

Instagram | ricardojmart

"The worst of the 4 students under our care, though, was a kid who had snapped. He came home one night when he was supposed to be staying at a friends, to find his stepdad on top of his kid sister. Didn't warn the guy what was about to happen; just went to the garage, grabbed a hammer and went to town on him.

He called the police himself, never denied what he'd done but wasn't proud of it. In his own words: 'it just needed doing'. That stayed with me." — WhiskeyAndVinyl

This one really had people split, with people arguing whether it was right to prosecute him, or whether the kid was simply defending his sister.

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6. Gifts For The Teacher

Instagram | piapietrina

"My first year teaching I had a student who wasn't a criminal yet. He had issues at home, abusive father. Towards me, the student was polite but sometimes overly nice in comparison to other teachers. He got me a Christmas gift of earrings, which I refused. To be fair I did not accept gifts from any students.

He was a high school freshman when I was one of his teachers. Later in life he sexually assaulted a female with cognitive disabilities." — fight_me_for_it

It's hard to imagine if those gifts were a genuine attempt to make a connection with an adult figure which he was lacking at home or the beginning of a more worrying pattern of behavior that he ultimately grew into.

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7. Gang Murder

Unsplash | Mason Jones

"Had an 8th grader who was a jerk. Wouldn't listen, constantly disrupted the class, and put in little to no effort. Was a bully to the other students. Unfortunately, our admin at the time was a pushover so nothing ever happened when we would refer him or anyone else (one day he came back from the office and I overheard him telling a classmate when asked what happened that the principal 'gave him some candy ane sent him back to class.'

"Cut to 6 years later, see his face on the news being arrested for a gang murder. Not the least bit surprised." — akak907

Not teaching kids about the consequences of their actions can have a massively detrimental effect on their life after school. Obviously that is not the only influencing factor here, but it can't have helped.

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8. The Boston Bombers

Unsplash | Emiliano Bar

"When I was a student-teacher I taught the younger of the Boston Bomber brothers. To be honest I barely remember him. When the news broke I had to go back and check old spreadsheets on my laptop to make sure it was actually him.

He was only a freshman at the time. I would say he was a little quiet but nothing out of the ordinary." — MysterionVsCthulhu

The Boston bombers were Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The youngest was reportedly Dzhokhar.

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9. School Cover-Up

Instagram | miss_jaysclassroom

"On a Friday afternoon before the end of the day [a new boy in my class] sexually assaulted a younger girl in the school toilets. This younger girl looked just like his twin. It was F*CKED UP. The school covered up the whole incident to avoid negative publicity and protect both kids' identities. I am not sure if charges were pressed [...] I received a phone call the next day telling me not to discuss it.

I don't know what happened to the boy or whether it was the first time such an incident had occurred. The student he assaulted moved interstate, but then eventually returned to school where she struggled with the incident although it was literally never mentioned after the day it happened." — laurandisorder

The fact that the school tried so hard to cover this up is troubling. Also, why the girl's parents thought it would be okay to bring her back to that school is beyond me!

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10. Child Pornography

Instagram | computers_phones

"I teach at a community college where we have a program that allows high school students to take college-level courses. One semester, I had a group of promising high schoolers in a 3D modeling class, and one student blew me away right from the start. Less than a week in, he had made this model of Claptrap from the Borderlands game series that was so detailed and perfect that it looked like it was ripped right from the game's assets (though it wasn't; I checked). I could tell right away that this kid was going places.

Well, the next week he wasn't in class [...] it turns out he was in jail. This student was apparently running a Twitter account where he publicly solicited and bribed people for child pornography, with some of the kids being as young as 1 year old." — faceimploder

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11. Narcotics

Unsplash | Mitch Lensink

"I was working at a juvenile detention center [...] One kid was in there for getting caught with some marijuana. He was in for like 3-6 months, which was harsh for a first-time offender [...]

He was really mellow. Liked to play card games and was very mature. When the younger kids would be starting fights or bickering, he would always distance himself and just sort of remove himself from everything. A year after he left us, he was caught trafficking serious amounts of narcotics. He was sentenced to something like 20 years". — AgentEmbey

The person who wrote this published an update saying that this incident happened in Wyoming and that the judge who initially sentenced the boy for possession was renowned for giving extremely harsh punishments.

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12. "I taught a student who turned out to be a pedophile."

Instagram | peoplescaremedicalsupply_

"I met him at the age of 16 and he had watched his Mum die of cancer [...] We had one clash of wills when I took the class outside to compose poetry. He refused and started walking around smacking stuff with a large stick.

I didn't teach him after that semester and was grateful. He was so clever but difficult to engage. He had that dead-eye stare that I associate with kids with diagnosed depression, eating disorders or burgeoning personality disorders. The trouble started after he finished school. He didn't complete matriculation but was heavily involved in sports and coaching. And that is when and where he started grooming younger boys online. Much younger boys. Preteens." — laurandisorder

The teacher went on to say that he is now in jail. She also wrote that she taught the boy's sister who, despite having gone through the same trauma, excelled in school and was a model student.

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13. Biker Gang

Instagram | daljeet.24.1992

"This one kid's dad was in a bike gang. I worked with him for a year as a sophomore. He hated school, the system didn’t work for him and even though he acted out a lot and spent a lot of time suspended and expelled for smoking, drugs and kicking off, we maintained a respectful relationship. He barely completed any work the year, but I was just glad he came to classes. I didn't teach him again, but he always stopped for a chat and a bit of banter. He was adamant he didn’t want to follow in his Dad's footsteps and started a construction course where he really excelled.

A few years after he had left school he ended up working for his Dad - both the actual business front and the drugs, weapons and rivalry part. He was stabbed to death in a drug deal gone bad [...] He was 19." — laurandisorder

It's sad that just as this boy had found something that he was interested in and good at, that he fell into the family business. What a tragic waste of potential.

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14. Torturer

Instagram | jellyjeffy

"I taught a student 6 years ago who recently committed a heinous double murder with 2 accomplices. Home invasion tortured the middle-aged married couple and came back all weekend undiscovered to loot their home (with the bodies in the house). Police have a clear surveillance video.

He had apparently just been released from jail too. He was very sheepish about his poor grades and not smart at all. I would go as far to say one of the most illiterate kids I encountered. But he was always polite and respectful...not a trouble maker. He played on the basketball team. Pretty clearly had no support from home. When I saw his mugshot on tv, I screamed." — mayorofmoomtown

People in the comments quickly began pointing out how many of these tragic stories include the fact that the child/children in question had a troubled home life.

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15. Aftermath Of A Drive-By Shooting

Instagram | ryo432_

"My wife and I are both teachers but she had the more heartbreaking one with 1 student. This one boy struggled a lot, class clown, occasionally obstinate but got it together to graduate with my wife's help. He was going to go be an apprentice and make some money at the ship yards and take care of his mama.

There was a drive-by a notorious road in our city. 1 person was killed [...] the "harshest" part was the cousin of the victim (our student in question) went and robbed a convenience store and was killed by the owner. He had left a note that he was going to do this to try to pay for a funeral for his cousin. Local media portrayed it as a thug got what was coming to him." — bowtoboot

This one is particularly heartbreaking. Not only had the young man overcome apparent academic difficulties and found himself a path, but the fact that the media would simply portray him as a "thug" without even trying to look at the wider context and issues at play is a tragedy.

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16. Dropped Out Of School To Join A Gang

Instagram | elargeticecletic

"Grade 6. A small boy who talked tough and ran a mini gang of bigger boys. Poor student; the only thing he did well was athletics (amazing runner) but wasn't allowed on the teams because his marks were so bad [...]

He knew how to manipulate people. He definitely manipulated me. About 10 years later I found out in the news he dropped out of high school to do gang things and was part of an interview/study on rehabilitating kids like him. I don't buy any of it because it's the same stuff he told me. Also in the news article was that he shot some people in a condo and was later killed in a police shootout." — imperfectchicken

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17. Accidental Overdose

Unsplash | Thought Catalog

"One of my former students apparently was involved with selling the drugs that caused an overdose to a musician on a tour stop. Musician died. I found out by seeing the screenshots of her admission posted in a large social media group I didn't know we were both part of... The internet age, right?

She was a typical kid with an emo streak, it broke my heart to see this go down because she scrubbed all traces of herself from the internet, haven't been able to reach out to her since" — DickishUnicorn

There was a lot of speculation in the comments about who the musician could be, but the teacher refused to disclose that information, probably out of respect for the student.

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18. The Polite Child

Instagram | bananablep

"My first year of teaching, I had a student who was eventually arrested for sexually assaulting his much younger sister.

He was always extremely polite, well-spoken, and hard working. I was completely stunned." — likemachines

Sometimes you can never tell what people are really from the front that they put up.

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19. Threatening Teachers

Instagram | milathedwarf

"I was in a fourth-grade classroom and was tasked with helping a boy learn to read. It was basic stuff, cat, dog, ran, etc. He had a task to spell cat and dog, and couldn't or wouldn't try to see the difference. He said he'd never need to know how to read, so why should he? I told him I'd draw some pictures of what the words were next to the words so he could try to memorize them. He said something along the lines of, 'If you try to make me do this I'll slit your throat and fu*k your corpse.' Note, I am/was a 275-pound dude." — thunder2132

Apparently this student had already been banned from using pens and paper and was only allowed to use crayons due to repeated stabbings.

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20. Three Students Who Abducted A Classmate

Instagram | hereforhemp

"Two of them are brothers, Adam and Brian. It became apparent pretty early on that their house had drug issues, and there was some serious neglect going on [...]

They rarely had lunches, never had winter coats, and their shoes regularly were being glued or duct-taped together. They'd talk about fights at their house, drug use, drunk parents, all sorts of things. We reported everything the entire year they were in my classroom, trying to get some intervention but it never turned in to anything. As students, they were entitled and did things like cutting in lines or taking someone else's candy, and rowdy, but not entirely stupid [...]

I really hoped Brian'd end up in a better place. He was brighter, kinder, and patient. Liked to read. I had hope, with him. I thought, if any of them have a chance, it's him. And if it weren't for the third kid they fell in with, Carl, he probably would have.

Together, while still in high school, they abducted and killed a classmate." — NotAnotherWhatever

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