Friday, August 7, 2009

Rebecca Nichols, Nepotism, & Assets

Never let it be said that only male educators are predators--just take a look at Rebecca Nichols, a former clerical assistant at East Lawrence High School. While the title "clerical assistant" hardly sounds imposing, it took three tries before the Lawrence County School Board agreed to hire Nichols in October 2007. Even after the board agreed to offer Nichols the job, District 2 member Gary Bradford proclaimed it wanton nepotism, it seems Rebecca was married to East Lawrence principal Ricky Nichols.

Rebecca Nichols immediately became popular with students, either because of her outgoing manner or other assets. Rumors that Nichols had posed for Playboy the same month she was hired at East Lawrence spread like fungus, and the clerk was never short of would-be swains despite her marriage to the principal. We doubt these rumors are true, but if any of our male readers would like to make the time-consuming sacrifice of scanning old editions of the magazine, please give us a report of your findings.

Last May, the Lawrence County Board of Education chose not to renew Nichols' contract, ostensibly due to budget cuts; however, it was well known that Ricky and Rebecca Nichols were separated and about to file for divorce. According to Tina Coleman, a family friend, Rebecca Nichols then took refuge in the friendship she shared with Coleman's 16 year-old son.

Nichols' relationship with the high school student began as early as Thanksgiving 2008 when the young man spent the holiday weekend with Rebecca's children from a previous marriage. According to the youth, the pair had their first sexual encounter on March 7th. When Rebecca Nichols discovered she had lost her position at East Lawrence, she and the student engaged in the use of alcohol and marijuana in an attempt to assuage their mutual sorrow. According to the youth, the relationship ended in June when the boy began to date a girl his own age.

After Tina Coleman's other children informed her of the relationship between her son and Rebecca Nichols, she pressed charges against the former school clerk for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Rebecca Nichols, now residing in Blount County, has not publicly commented on the charges. Ricky Nichols says he has forgiven the youth, stating it was his estranged wife's fault. Obviously, as an adult, Rebecca Nichols must shoulder the lion's share of the blame; we do wonder how East Lawrence principal Ricky Nichols would view the situation if the school worker had been someone other than his soon-to-be-ex-wife.

What's up with this: A 1999 Hartland Institute study reported that 18% of female students admitted a male coach had approached them for sex. We're sure many students would not admit to such harassment; therefore, just what is the actual percentage in 2009? We hope all parents discuss this problem with their children.