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On Winfield: Don’t judge book by cover

My letter is in response to Ms. Gloria Weaver’s previous letter regarding Ms. Heather Winfield (March 9). While I can appreciate and respect Ms. Weaver’s loyalty toward Ms. Winfield, I believe her defense of Winfield is sorely misguided. Although Ms. Winfield may be a gifted and skilled teacher, as indicated, this in and of itself does not acquit her of the allegations against her.

Other very talented, skilled, and educated individuals, such as Jerry Sandusky, Ted Bundy, and, unfortunately, many Catholic priests have later been found to have darker sides. Darker sides that used those very skills and talents to exploit the vulnerabilities of their victims.

One such person was Lisa Davis, a fifth-grade teacher in Othello, Washington, who initially denied but later pleaded guilty to molesting one of her 10-year-old male students.

With that said, it is not my intent to try and convict Ms. Winfield in the media. Not at all. She deserves and should be afforded the same presumption of innocence as anyone at this stage.

However, she should also be judged on the facts surrounding the allegations and not on her personal achievements. As a police officer with almost 34 years in law enforcement, I have come to understand something you as a retired educator should also understand: You cannot always judge a book by its cover, good or bad!

STEVE HARSHBERGER,

Alpena