The title alone left me speechless. 1 is already horrifying, but 14? 14 charges of sex abuse at an ELEMENTARY school? The world we live in today scares me. Schools are supposed to be the safest place for kids. The place where children go to knowing there is comfort and happiness, a place where parents drop their kids off knowing they will come home in a few hours.
The article states that prosecutors in Palmer have filed more than a dozen sexual abuse charges against a man by the name of Lukis Nighswonger. Nighswonger is a former elementary school teacher who was arrested in late September after parents and students complained about inappropriate touching.
It gets worse. The article states “the one-popular teacher and coach now faces a total of 19 charges.” 19!!!! If 14 was not bad enough, it is now 19 total charges. The offenses date back to 2002, which concerns me even more. It is now 2019, he was arrested in 2018. 16 years of teaching since his first offense??? How was he still allowed to teach or be near children in the first place.
The latest accusations took place in October, 2018, which is the time he got arrested and arraigned.
At his first court appearance, he showed via video and made a comment to the court regarding the allegations. He implied the allegations against him are true and told police he is a pedophile.
This heavily disturbs me and makes me so sad for all the students and families affected at Iditarod Elementary School. The article states he is a long-time teacher at this school, meaning he negatively affected this children’s lives forever.
Although this is the case, he entered a not guilty plea through his lawyer. At his plea, a teenager who says she is one of the victims, was there to watch. She was a student in his class 7-8 years ago when she had him for third and fourth grade. Currently, she is a junior in high school now. Still heavily affected, she started crying when revisiting the events. She claims he was very “touchy” and would ask if it was okay to touch her.
Reading this brings chills to my spine. I can’t imagine the confusion and torture these little innocent souls must feel when experiencing this. I could never imagine myself being in that position and I would never, ever think to commit such sickening crimes.