A convicted child molester is receiving an unlikely helping hand from a teachers union in Michigan. Neal Erickson was a math and computer-education teacher at Rose City Middle School before he was sentenced to 15-30 years in prison after having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old boy at the school. But despite the horrific charges against him, the teachers union for the school is fighting to give Erickson his severance package.
The severance package totals $10,000 and would be paid directly to Erickson. However, the boy’s father, John Janczewski, expressed outrage at the support efforts for the child molester made by the Michigan Education Association. He believes any money disbursed should be going to his son, who is “out there trying to make it in this world all messed up. What are you going to say when you’re backing a child molester?
The relationship between the boy and Erikson began in 2006 and included 10 encounters involving oral sex. A photo that the then 14-year-old sent to Erickson was presented to school board officials years later and a police investigation began in October 2012. However, he had resigned from the school that March, before the investigation begin, as school district officials offered a $10,000 buyout to teachers who resigned as part of a cost-cutting measure.
Six of his former colleagues also supported the child molester during his trial by painting a flattering picture of him and asking for the “absolute minimum sentence.” The judge in the case said he was “appalled and ashamed that the community would rally around, in this case, you.”
(Photo: West Branch Police Department)