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New York State Education Department Part 83 Hearing

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New York State Education Department Part 83 Hearing In the Matter of Certificate held by James F. Murray A Case Study 1. 8 NYCRR §83 / OSPRA overview Part 83 case, James F. Murray overview Reluctant witness

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New York State

  • Education Department
  • Part 83 Hearing
  • In the Matter of Certificate held by James F. Murray
  • A Case Study
  • 1. 8 NYCRR §83 / OSPRA overview
  • Part 83 case, James F. Murray overview
  • Reluctant witness
  • Educator sexual grooming - use position as teacher to manipulate a student into an inappropriate relationship
  • Nuts and Bolts of Investigation:
    • i. e-mails
    • ii. credit card
    • iii. telephone records


Dr. Charole Shakeshaft, Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of a congressionally mandated study titled, Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature 2004

Educator sexual grooming, Dr. Shakeshaft explains, is a process whereby an educator selects a student, gives the student attention and rewards, provides the student with support and understanding, all the while slowly increasing the amount of touch or other inappropriate behavior. The purpose of grooming is to test the child’s ability to maintain secrecy, to desensitize the child through progressive inappropriate behaviors, to provide the child with experiences that are valuable and that the child won’t want to lose, to learn information that will discredit the child, and to gain approval from parents.

Grooming often takes place in the context of providing a child with extras like additional help with sports or with learning a musical instrument, advisement on a science project, or opportunities for camping and outdoor activity. These opportunities not only create a special relationship with students, they are also ones for which parents are usually appreciative.

Most such manipulators work very hard to keep their victims from telling others. This is not as hard for the perpetrator to accomplish as it may seem. For one thing, children who are being manipulated are the last ones to know, also children who are engaging in sexual contact with teachers often don't recognize what is happening as abuse. In many cases, says the report, they are told that what is happening is love. Many abusers of children at all ages couch what they are doing to the children as love, both romantic and parental."

Other techniques for keeping children quiet, says Shakeshaft, are intimidation and threats (if you tell, I’ll fail you), exploiting the power structure (if you tell, no one will believe you) and manipulating the child’s affections (if you tell, I’ll get in trouble; if you tell, I won’t be able to be your friend anymore). Since kids typically get something out of the relationship – everything from attention and gifts to physical pleasure and a feeling of belonging – they can easily be made to feel responsible, something offenders use to their advantage.


Examples of Educator Grooming

Cards; Letters; Notes

Gifts; Stuffed animals; candles; handmade

Money, credit card

Teachers chair, desk, closet

Telephone/cell phone card/minutes, text, TracPhone

Late night calls, during school hours, outgoing vs incoming

Computer contact, e-mail; IM; My Space; Twitter

Visits to house, apartment

Rides, car, stickshift, driving lessons, socializing outside of school

Private lessons, babysit; paid?, barter?

Classroom, alone, extra help, sit at teacher desk, free time in office or classroom

Private discussions; feelings; boyfriends; parents; wife/sex, troubled marriage

Mall; clothes; chocolate; perfume; shoes, jewelry

Meals, restaurant, movie; drive-in, picnic, boat; beach; amusement park

Visiting student at her job, invitations to teacher’s home

Alcohol; bars

“friends” with parents, big brother relationship, like an Uncle

Locker combination

Hanging out, special relationship, extra attention without educational reason

Confidant, counselor, mentor, father figure, boyfriend advisor

Hall passes, copying, grading, helping, office, closed doors, helper

Music; CD’s; special songs

Jokes, off-color humor

Graduation gift, sign yearbook



Physical contact; touch; games; massage, tickle

Hugs, gentle touching, questionable/accidental physical contact, hair twirling

Soul mate; talk about anything; romantic

private matters discussions, wife, sex, troubles, flirting


Convincing student that she is more mature, convince to be more grown-up

Most beautiful, can’t resist her beauty

Pedestal, make feel special, grades/awards not earned

Isolate; friends, boyfriends, parents

School trips, hotel

Cemetery, hidden locations

Secrecy, no one can know; could lose job,

Destroy evidence, delete e-mails, throw away letters/notes,

Talks bad about other teachers/administrators

Partying exploits, drinking stories, selling self as someone to be admired

Teacher of the Year, Charming, the cool teacher,



      • i. Exhibit D-25 Frannie e-mail to Danielle 12/05
      • ii. Comparison e-mails
  • Ex. D-43 JM e-mail to Karli 1-20-06 @ 2:30PM
  • --- x 1
  • … x 8
  • End sentence with … x 2, Use of commas
  • Use of LOL x 1
  • Ex. D-45 JM e-mails to Michelle 9/06 to 10/06 @ 8:47am
  • --- x 3
  • … x 12
  • End sentence with … x 1, Use of LOL x 6, End sentence with …LOL x 4
  • Ex. D-41cJM e-mail to Karli 6-6-07 @ 11:36am
  • --- /-- x 10
  • … x 14
  • End sentence with … x 1, Use of quotes, Use of commas
  • Ex. D-11d JM My Space to Erin 12-19-07 @ 9:01am
  • --- x 1
  • … x 3
  • Use of quotes, Use of commas

Attached Message



Subject: letter.

Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 15:19:12 -0500


There are so many things I want to say to you but I don’t know if they,

are appropriate or if they matter anymore. The thought of you being with a

boy here in school for me to watch, is really bothering me - - -sorry. There

is so much I have not done for you - - - in all ways . . .

Last night was the longest night in some time. I couldn’t eat sleep

think . . . obviously I could cry . . . lol

I will miss you, especially if things have to change . . . I just wanted to

share some things with you so badly and I thought we were progressing.

I can not believe I love you like this . . . I know that is why it hurts so

much. This is now twice in my life I found myself so attracted to and a heart

full of love for a woman and unable to do anything about it.

I apologize if I have ever put in a situation you weren’t comfortable

with or I have said things to offend you. Hope you know I would never do

anything to hurt you.

I could go on forever . . . I am not ready to leave us - - - this

situation "big sigh" . . .

Love Frannie

PS I hope you still think about the offer . . . lol