20 Teachers Give The Chilling Stories Behind Their Students Who Went On To Become Hard Criminals

A person stands behind a chainlink fence, holding on with their hands
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Found on Ask Reddit

1.

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 (in prison for gang activity) 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.

Such a goddamned waste.

— LyricalWillow

2.

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

3.

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. He was a little guy, so it wasn’t exactly a bloody scene, but nobody knew who did it, and all the kids were sad.

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. The girl was called to the office, and parents were called.

The next day, the parents come in, and explain to the principal that they’re moving their daughter to a new school. Basically, “she’s not your problem anymore, so don’t bother trying to call in child counselors or anything.” So rather than make a big deal out of it all (which would have been a headache for everyone) the school let it all slide, because the girl was gone.

A few years later, there was a local news story about a Jr. High girl who’d assaulted another student. It sounded like she pushed the other girl down some stairs and then kicked her. They didn’t publish names (because she’s a minor), but word traveled down the grapevine pretty quickly that it was our former student. I’m not sure what happened to her after that.

— Vomix

4.

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 push over 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 and 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

5.

I volunteered a couple of times at an alternative school. One of my pastors was the principal there, so our church youth group would help out from time to time.

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 fuck your corpse.” Note, I am/was a 275 pound dude.

I told the teacher, who told me not to worry, that they check him daily to make sure he’s not carrying a knife since he’s had a few incidents. Not sure what happened to that kid, nothing good. She’d also previously told me he wasn’t allowed pencils or pens and was only allowed to write with crayons due to his violent outbursts. If he’s still alive he’d be around 25 now.

Coincidentally (I mean that literally, I’m not being glib) I didn’t end up volunteering there again. I did drive past there once and saw a bunch of kids beating the crap out of one kid outside, I called 911 and was thanked for the report, and that police were already on-site.

— thunder2132

6.

I am a teacher now, however I wasn’t a teacher when this happened. I was working at a juvenile detention center, which they were saying was a “treatment” center. We were not a facility that held major offenders.

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, but the judge was notorious for this kind of thing. We had kids from that area who were sent to us after skipping school a few times.

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 for that and the various offenses which led up to him getting caught.

— AgentEmbey

7.

Taught a boy who was involved in a gang murder. Wasn’t the one who did the actual murdering, but was part of the plan and found guilty under group enterprise.

He was a strange, strange boy. Highly disruptive throughout school, very weak academically, and one who always gravitated towards trouble.

— superpaulyboy

8.

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. His classmates ended up raising a sizable amount of money and donating it to mental health charities, and they did eventually have their prom just before the end of the school year. The student served about six months in prison jail and was given a few years of probation.

— Ham_Kitten

9.

I taught at an alternative school for a year. I have several students who later ended up in jail for everything from robbery to murder. Most of them weren’t surprising…these were kids who clearly had no family structure or discipline at home. And almost all of them were affiliated with gangs somehow. We even had middle school kids jumped into gangs at the school. But alternative schools get almost no support from anyone but the police. It’s basically a step away from jail.

The one who committed murder killed a pizza delivery driver over a drug deal. He was actually somewhat surprising because he was far from the worst kid I dealt with. He was a skinny, nerdy looking kid with braces, but he was hanging out with all the hard gang members too. I dunno, maybe he felt like he had to prove himself.

— catching_signals

10.

I was a school teacher for 15 years. I have taught two murderers and a pedophile.

1. A 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 fucked 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.

Pedo was such a shock! Very popular boy at school. Insanely talented. Never had an issue with him, so really shocked he went to jail for this.

— das0nzo

11.

I’ve taught some kids who turned out pretty rotten and you could usually tell by their conduct during high school. However, one that sticks was these two LOVELY siblings. Great students; polite, well-mannered and tried hard academically. Both graduated.

Turns out that in their final years, they joined their father in distributing crystal meth. Straight from high school to prison.

— whiteboardoracle

12.

I taught three students that together went on to commit at least one locally high-profile murder, and probably others, and will likely die in prison as a result of them.

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. Physical abuse, too, from little things the boys let slip. 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 (they were actually from a fairly large family, six or seven kids) 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 think the total lack of discipline at home, never having consequences for not doing homework, was a huge contributing factor to how they ended up.

Adam was not the brightest bulb. He was a follower, for sure, and a little bit of a bully. He’d posture to show off, but if you pressed him, he’d back down. Never had problems with him in the classroom, after the first week, just in the halls, or recess, or at the bus stops. Acted tough, but at least when I knew him, it was a fairly unconvincing act.

Brian was always kind, when neither of the other two co-murderers were around. A really quiet kid, a thinker. But he stuck by his brother like glue. I guess they didn’t have much else going for them, nobody else to watch their backs, so they were 100% together in pretty much everything. 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.

Carl was a problem kid, had a file thicker than a dictionary. I saw him stab a kid, for no reason, and then say it was because he wanted to see what happened. We had to remove all scissors from our classroom because he liked to cut things. He threw a desk, once. Mid-story time, no apparent trigger. Just got up, threw it at a girl, and then laughed when she started crying.

He was a nightmare on the bus, on the playground, and so on. He had a recess duty assigned to keep an eye on him, because whether he directly did it or not, kids got hurt when he was around. He talked about killing animals, going hunting, and about doing things like taking people into the woods, getting them really lost, and then leaving them to die. He was a creep. He liked to pick on little girls. Not the ones in his grade, but ones 4 – 5 years younger. He’d corner them and bully them to tears, sometimes physically snatching at their dresses, or pulling their hair. He was awful, and constantly in and out of the principal’s office.

Adam worshiped Carl, or followed him around like it, anyway, and Brian, well, he stuck with his brother. It was so sad to see happening. They all lived in the same area, and knew one another outside of school, and I always got the impression that Brian was afraid of Carl.

I know some of the other teachers in the building were. Hell, I’ll even admit I was, too. I was on constant guard with him in class. He even in elementary school was fully capable of doing some serious permanent harm, and we all knew it.

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

— NotAnotherWhatever

13.

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.

His mother looked about my age and I was an undergraduate student teacher. I got that through word-of-mouth: I never met her because she’d cancel at the last minute any parent-teacher meetings. There were a lot of requests for these meetings. No father figure in his life. Free range kid in the worst sense; couldn’t respect anyone more than two years older than him unless they were black or willing to throw down with him right there.

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

14.

I was a substitute teacher for a couple years. About two years after I stopped, one of the kids I had went to prison for two counts of attempted murder. The kid was an asshole and by far the worst kid I had to deal with but nothing that stood out to me as murderer. He was expelled for hitting a girl but that was after I left so I don’t know much about it.

— jewishporkchop

15.

Another one, but he was an instant criminal. A new boy was placed in my class. He had a twin sister in another class and he was very bright, but super quiet. He kept to himself and didn’t interact with other students.

On a Friday afternoon before the end of the day he sexually assaulted a younger girl in the school toilets. This younger girl looked just like his twin. It was FUCKED 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 and was only made aware of it because I happened to be on site and near another senior staffer when she took the call and freaked out. 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. I only remembered this because I have been re-reading an old diary and I wrote about it there.

— laurandisorder

16.

I taught a student who turned out to be a pedophile. I met him at the age of 16 and he had watched his Mum die of cancer – it happened at the start of the school year and it struck me as strange that he didn’t take any time off to grieve with his family.

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. He refused to go to the focus room and was collected by exec staff.

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 (it takes one to know one – I was an ill young lady in my late teens). 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. Pre teens.

He was arrested when he was in his early 20s and put on good behaviour. He violated his terms of bail in under six months and is now in jail.

The thing is that I also taught his sister and although subject to the same significant trauma she handled it very differently. She is immensely successful and has excelled. I really feel for their dad who lost his partner and his son in such a short timeframe.

17.

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 in 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

18.

So, I’ve taught a couple attempted murderers and quite a few major drug dealers, as well as students that would become accessories to murder (stuff like selling the eventual murderer a stolen firearm), so this isn’t going to be super specific to one kid, but here goes:

The ones that truly gangbang hard tend to be the sweetest ones. They’ll come up to me and ask how my spring break was, and answer questions in class, and defend me if students give me a hard time. Those ones are usually in too deep because the older heads tell them not to fuck around at school and get as many positive character witnesses as possible when they end up getting caught up. The ones that just joined a gang of their friends and go around selling a little bit of weed act a fool in class, because there’s no authority structure telling them the gang doesn’t need that kind of negative attention.

I’ve had heroin dealers in class, and the three or four of them were so kind, but trying to find the human inside them is so hard because of the drug abuse… it’s like that episode of Black Mirror with the tiny person living inside their head. You want nothing more than to see them snap out of it, and sometimes they do: we had one of our most serious junkies graduate in December!

The ones who get to me the most are the ones that identify with me and then go out and do horrible things. I’m a younger dude that worked in the music industry so I have a lot of kids that just inherently think I’m cool despite tons of evidence to the contrary, so I’ll know a kid for 3 years and love them to pieces and then see them in the paper for aggravated sexual assault. Those ones sting the most.

— Dont_Shred_On_Me

19.

I taught a student who turned out to be a pedophile. I met him at the age of 16 and he had watched his Mum die of cancer – it happened at the start of the school year and it struck me as strange that he didn’t take any time off to grieve with his family.

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. He refused to go to the focus room and was collected by exec staff.

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 (it takes one to know one – I was an ill young lady in my late teens). 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. Pre teens.

He was arrested when he was in his early 20s and put on good behaviour. He violated his terms of bail in under six months and is now in jail.

The thing is that I also taught his sister and although subject to the same significant trauma she handled it very differently. She is immensely successful and has excelled. I really feel for their dad who lost his partner and his son in such a short timeframe.

— laurandisorder

20.

Most students who turn out to be shitty adults were shitty kids.
I had a student that was a major bully. Total asshole. He’s in jail for beating his gf to a pulp. Am I surprised? Unfortunately, no.

— Penya23 TC mark

Callie Byrnes

Callie is a professional Thought Catalog blogger by day and an amateur Tumblr blogger by night.

This is me letting you go

If there’s one thing we all need to stop doing, it’s waiting around for someone else to show up and change our lives. Just be the person you’ve been waiting for.

At the end of the day, you have two choices in love – one is to accept someone just as they are and the other is to walk away.

We owe it to ourselves to live the greatest life that we’re capable of living, even if that means that we have to be alone for a very long time.

“Everyone could use a book like this at some point in their life.” – Heather

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