Why Is a Teachers Union Fighting on Behalf of Convicted Child Molester?
Jesse Watters confronts the head of Michigan Education Association in a Watters' World investigation.
There’s outrage in Michigan after the union, Michigan Education Association, began fighting to win a $10,000 severance payment for a convicted child rapist.
Neal Erickson, 39, was convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a minor. He was sentenced up to 30 years in prison. Erickson was the 12-year-old boy’s teacher, and molested him for three years.
Bill O’Reilly spoke to the victim’s parents, who say the situation is inflicting more pain on their son and their family.
The Factor asked the Michigan Education Association to stop the campaign. In a Watters’ World investigation, O’Reilly producer Jesse Watters confronted the head of the union, Steven Cook, after he refused to comply.
“You have a teacher that raped a student and you want him paid?” Watters pressed Cook. “You know that’s wrong.”
Cook would not comment and eventually told Watters he had to leave the building.
Watters called Cook an “absolute disgrace.” After the confrontation, he spoke to the victim, who is now 21 years old and attends college.
He told Watters, “The education system is supposed to support their students and their well-being, and the fact that the MEA is backing a child molester and a criminal is absolutely disgusting. Nobody will ever know what this man did to me emotionally, physically, mentally.
He went on to question how Cook can support the well-being of the school system when he backs a child molester. He was also shocked that other teachers wrote letters on Erickson’s behalf asking for leniency. “I feel that they are just as bad as he is. […] I just wish that there could be closure for this, and these individuals supporting Neal can see that there’s no such thing as consensual at 13 years old.”
Watters reported that the mother is in the same union and wants to take a week of paid leave for chemotherapy, but the union won’t allow it.
Watch the confrontation and interview in the video above.