November 27, 2014

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Suspended Lorain teacher indicted

LORAIN — A suspended Lorain elementary school teacher has been indicted on federal child pornography charges.

Edward Dembiec, 53, was charged by way of information, according to a news release Monday from U.S. Attorney for Northern Ohio Steven Dettelbach’s office. An information typically is filed when a defendant plans to enter a plea in a case rather than contesting the charges.

The complaint accuses Dembiec of possessing “an Apple iMac Desktop computer, an Acer Aspire Laptop computer, and numerous DVD/CD discs that contained child pornography.”

Lorain Schools Superintendent Tom Tucker said the district was aware of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigation and that Dembiec has been on paid leave for the past year. He said district attorneys are reviewing what steps to take to terminate Dembiec.

Tucker said Dembiec has been a teacher with Lorain Schools since the 1980s and taught fifth and sixth grades, most recently at Helen Steiner Rice Elementary.

He said the district isn’t aware of any evidence of Dembiec doing anything inappropriate with students or on school property.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.


  • Sis Delish

    Can’t wait to hear the local Teacher’s Union official position on this.

    • theadvocate76

      Why would you expect the LEA to become involved in this matter? And why does every employee who is non-union automatically assume when people make bad decisions and are not immediately terminated from their jobs, it is because there is a union involved that is inevitably protecting this persons job?

      Each legal citizen in this country is part of Union. And they are protected by the most important contract of all. It’s call the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution protections ALL employees, through due process. This person, being union, is a moot point. He has a right, under federal law, to due process, just as any other working citizen does, unionized or not. However, now that he has been indicted with felony charges, his employers has the right, under federal law, to terminate him. Depending on the outcome of the case, should he be found not guilty, he could very well sue for his job back, as well as back pay owed.

      You do not have to like that, I do not have to like that, no one has to like that, however, those are the protections we are guaranteed under the Constitution. They have nothing to do with the teacher’s union. Don’t be a spoon and try to stir something up that has nothing to do with this story, whatsoever.

      • Sis Delish

        Amazingly, The Education Industry and their Unions have Opinions on most things we Taxpayers don’t like… so, the LEA as you identify them should also have an opinion about the instant case, no?

        • theadvocate76

          So, union members aren’t taxpayers? Or, union members aren’t allowed to have opinions? Or, only taxpayers are allowed to have opinions? Or, unions MUST have opinions??? Just which is it? Seems the taxpayer is demanding that if you are in a union, you are a slave to their orders. In other words, no, I do not agree with you.

          Funding education, which, by the way, is NOT an industry, is not a simplistic as you are attempting to make it sound. Do you own real estate? Do you own the real estate within the City of Lorain? Are the property taxes on all your residences current? None of your properties are in areas where you maybe chose to take a 10-15 year abatement to save a quick buck as a taxpayer? Oh, and none of these properties are in Lorain proper, but are within the Amherst Exempted Village Schools district, so those property taxes go toward that district, rather than the city district?

  • GreatRedeemer

    Disgusting, she should be forever barred from teaching. She has been on paid leave for a year ?. I suppose being employed since the eighties she will just retire, collect her full tax payer provided pension and healthcare and that’s how it will be resolved.

    • 2muchgovernment

      He, not she.

    • 2muchgovernment

      While I agree he should be barred from teaching or any other job that involves working with youth, only the Ohio Department of Education can revoke his license. And I’m sure they will if he is found guilty. As a side note, the ODE website contains information, including disciplinary information (if any) on every teacher licensed in Ohio. It’s never a bad thing to check the credentials of your child’s teachers.

      • Summer Smart

        Does it really matter if you check? The schools are supposed to have already done that. Time after time we hear that “they checked clean” and they don’t know how they slipped through the system AFTER it is way too late and the harm is already done.

        • 2muchgovernment

          So, if by your own admission, some teachers have “slipped through the cracks” even after the schools have done their homework, why, as a parent, would that exempt you from doing your own homework? Especially when you have access to information readily available. But as parents, I think it is our obligation and duty to do what we can to protect our children.

          • Summer Smart

            I think at one time or another we are all guilty of accepting what is put out there because, I for one, have a very busy life that doesn’t leave room to have to double check all the systems that are in place to help on that! Yes, my own admission, something many people find themselves having to do at one time or another. We are all not perfect.

  • luvmytoaster

    Wow, paid leave for a year? I hope the unions are satisfied that they have been a party to this.

    I think it’s disgusting that the district’s attorneys are still reviewing what steps to take! Fire the perv and recoup the money that you paid him for the last year!

  • nomokids

    He is not the only teacher in the district guilty of this. There is another teacher of the district guilty from the 80s. That teacher actually lived with a student in the 80s. Talk about disgusting…

  • Jillian Scarvelli

    This saddens me to know that he was my teacher in the 6th grade. This is something I never thought I would see. I guess there is just something’s you never know about people.

    • Ashley Stevens

      Omg, I was trying to figure out if it was our teacher or not. Smh

      • Jillian Scarvelli

        Yeah that’s him.

  • Beth Vincent

    Idgaf if he isn’t suspected of doing anything at HSR or not! As a parent of a child that was in his class last year when he was suspended I should have been notified that my child had been put in danger!! My child went early for tutoring with him because he constantly “lost” her homework and so she was failing math. I also know another parent who’s child went through the same thing with” lost ” homework and morning tutoring WWWTTTFFF??!!!. I am PISSED!

    • theadvocate76

      How did your child have morning tutoring with him if he was suspended? I
      don’t understand. And if he continuously lost her homework, and
      another student’s homework, what did you and the other parent’s do about
      this, aside from allowing your children go to tutoring? Did you ever
      discuss this concern with him, and/or the principal? I would be pretty
      concerned about his disorganization, too, but my first reaction would
      not be for my child to go to tutoring since it wasn’t her problem, it
      was seemingly HIS.

      • luvmytoaster

        Your comments are understandable, but hindsight is 20/20.

        • theadvocate76

          Thank you, but with all due respect, really? Your child’s educational needs are when you use hindsight? MMmmmmm…I don’t agree.

          She stated her child’s homework was constantly lost by said teacher. The effect of the teacher losing the homework was to fail the child. The solution to that was morning tutoring. (The same happened to another student.)

          This is no logical resolution for the parent or the teacher. And it is certainly no justice for the child. If the child is a hardworking student, what in the world is she learning? I do my work, the teacher loses it, and as punishment for his disorganization, not only do I fail, but I have to go to tutoring in the morning with the person who is failing me. How do you think that affects the student and her relationship with future teachers, or her future education, for that matter?

          I am not a proponent of parents speaking ill of any adults in front of children (children pick up far too much “adult” information this way; let kids be kids), however I am certainly a proponent of listening to your children, knowing them, and knowing when they are telling fact from fiction. Parents have to be responsible and be able to discern when an injustice is being served to their children. They MUST deal with it in an appropriate manner, so as to not shame themselves or their namesake. In this case, I feel the more suitable solution should have been to discuss this with the teacher. Had HIS organizational skills/excuses not improved, I would have certainly had a conference with the principal regarding this.

  • theadvocate76

    Wait a minute…you are stating the reason you found out any investigation was going on with this teacher was because the authorities (district or police) came in and searched his classroom? Were there children in the classroom at the time of the search? You found this out from your child? How did she come by this information? And you are stating you were notified of SOMETHING because your daughter came home and told you a search of the classroom took place. AT THAT POINT, you had more than every right to request MORE and OFFICIAL information on this matter from the Superintendent, principal, and/or the Board of Education. Why wait? Why place the burden of responsibility on the district? If you want information, you go get it. She is YOUR child! She is YOUR responsibility.
    Why is this the districts fault that you did not ask questions when your child came home and told you the authorities searched this teacher’s classroom?

    • Beth Vincent

      Um..did ask questions and was turned away. Do u read my whole comment or just part of it. Yes my child SAW them come in and search.and In what part of my comment does it say i waited? They were in the adjacent room with glass partitions . When i questioned it i was told that they didnt know but it had nothing to do with the children. Nice try in making me be the one in the wrong, however,you are the one thats wrong . To top it off i never said it was the districts fault but hell…it is because i DID ask!!

      • theadvocate76

        So, you went through the entire chain of command demanding answers after your daughter came home and told you she “witnessed” a search of her classroom by authorities from an adjacent classroom? Or, when this story broke you immediately came to a discussion board stating what you did in your original post?
        Just when does any of your child’s safety become your responsibility? You imply that it is the districts fault because they did not notify you that, “your child had been put in danger.” If that is not blame, tell me what blame is. As a parent, stakeholder, and constituent of a public school district, you have EVERY right to go up the chain of command and DEMAND answers. The chain of command, in the case of a public school district, stops with the board of education. Those are elected officials. If those members want to tap dance around you, allow them. Just as easy as they were voted into office, they can be voted out. This is something constituents in Lorain seem to easily forget, sadly.

        What you do not do is sit idly back allow a public school district pacify you with a lack of legitimate reasoning, and then blame them a year and a half later because they owed you an explanation that you never fought for. You just received your explanation. On July 22, 2014, the Chronicle Telegram ran the explanation of why your child’s classroom was searched. You had to wait a while to find out why, but now you know.

    • Summer Smart

      Amen!