Earlier this week, a former teacher at Emporia High School pleaded guilty to two felony charges of sexual misconduct with students:

1. Attempted unlawful sexual relations — teacher with a student; and

2. Indecent liberties with a child under 16.

These legal descriptions are just cleaned up ways of describing some perverted and disgusting actions that happened in the teacher’s own classroom at Emporia High School and with his own students.

The fact that a teacher would attempt to have sex with a student and fail to recognize appropriate physical and emotional boundaries with a student should horrify us ... and cause us to demand some answers.

This is not some random news headline from a random small town in some random part of the country that has no immediate impact on our lives. This story has been unfolding right here in Emporia for some time now. It involves a long-time, trusted, and well-known teacher in town and several local Emporia kids who were victimized by his gross indiscretion over an extended period of time.

The victims have spent the last year of their lives issuing depositions, meeting with the county attorney, and participating in the whole legal process of prosecuting one of their teachers who did some very bad things.

These kids could have been anyone’s kids. In fact, there were more charges made against him from four more students, but because of how the legal system works and in order to get a charge to “stick,” they were whittled down to just two separate felony charges.

Mr. Bosiljevac got his day in court and it’s good to see guilty pleas to at least part of what he was originally charged with. (And even though he wasn’t convicted on the other counts, it doesn’t mean they didn’t happen or that those other students weren’t impacted by his actions.)

Of course, the sentencing is yet to come, but this isn’t the end of the story. In fact, this should be the beginning of a vigorous conversation about what isn’t working and what we can do to ensure something as horrifying as this never happens again in Emporia schools.

It is shocking that the story has made local, state, and national news over the last 12 months, and yet has not garnished a statement from our school district about the seriousness of what was obviously going on inside one of their schools, their disdain for it, and what they are going to do about it.

Something is obviously not working.

We hope that changes.

Ashley Walker


(2) comments

An Expatriate Emporian

You cannot begin to act as though shocked. Over the past 40 years alone this has happened in Emporia how many times? This is hardly a first time, and as Hallowed points out above, it's a societal culture there that allows it, and a school board and administrations that protect it.

Don't make this seem like a one-off / it simply has gotten more attention than many of the others.

Hollowed Ground

Cry me a river. Schools are a magnet for these perverts for their high concentration of adolescents. Yet, even knowing that, schools prefer firing over prosecution, as it is cheaper. They prefer silence over proactive involvement; as it avoids blame. There is no cross-jurisdictional vetting; teachers fired here are happily hired there, just like child-molesting priests have been for decades. Ah, then we have our Christian heritage that says to suppress everything sexual. Blame the victim if female. Females cannot be allowed to wreck the careers of males, or even the prospective careers if the molester is a school athlete. She deserved it. Her pants are too tight. Her midriff was exposed. She wasn't a virgin. If she reports anything, challenge everything. I've heard it all before many times. Investigate this guy and then publish a list of all the places he has worked in the past and why he left. You can bet this ain't his first dance. Dear writer, does that give you a hint at what isn't working?

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