Teacher Steals $10K from Union, District Doesn’t Care

I don’t know what to make of this story from Virginia:

A Wise County teacher and past president of the Wise County Education Association, the local affiliate of the Virginia Education Association and National Education Association, retains the confidence of the Wise County school division and will remain in her classroom following last week’s indictment on a charge of embezzling money from the teachers union.

Elizabeth Ann Wade, 59, was indicted by the Wise County Grand Jury last week on one count of embezzling money or property belonging to the VEA’s Cumberland Mountain UniServ (District 1) between May 18, 2010 and Oct. 2, 2012.

The indictment charges Wade of misappropriating a little more than $10,000 from the WCEA. Wade served as treasurer of the WCEA from August of 2009 to July 2012 and president of the local teachers union affiliate until November of 2012.

…On Monday Wise County School Superintendent Jeff Perry said the school division is willing to give Wade the benefit of an otherwise sterling teaching record.

“At this point in time the (EHS) principal has related to me that Ann Wade has been a faithful employee for several years and we feel the best situation for Eastside High School is to keep her in the classroom,” he said.

I can’t figure out if this if the district is in denial about the serious nature of the crime, or if it’s taking a swipe at VEA by acting as though stealing $10k from the union isn’t that big of a deal. It puts the union in an awkward position, too. It certainly can’t insist that the district discipline Wade or reassign her. She’s a dues-paying (and dues-taking, apparently) member.

The UniServ unit issued a statement that “additional safeguards were implemented.”  I guess they didn’t take my Labor Day advice.