PITTSBURGH – Teacher Geraldine Alcorn became so obsessed with one of her students she was planning on running away with the 11-year-old, police allege.
Alcorn, 29, allegedly exchanged 2,400 texts with an 11-year-old female student over two weeks. In the texts, the two discussed Alcorn adopting the girl and running away together, KDKA reports.
She was the child’s teacher for several classes at Beechwood Elementary School, and she was put on administrative leave when officials learned of the texting, which equated to over seven texts per hour on average, for all hours of the day and night.
Alcorn resigned from her teaching position March 2, the Sun Gazette reports.
“According to the criminal complaint, police found out about the texting when the girl’s mother discovered the messages on her daughter’s iPod,” according to KDKA.
“The criminal complaint reports the girl’s mother found Alcorn in her home without her permission. She also allegedly found post-it notes and letters written by the girl to Alcorn with the headings: ‘Things Ms. Alcorn and I can do,’ ‘What we can do,’ and ‘When we can do it.’”
Neighbors of the 11-year-old told WPXI Alcorn often met with the girl on her front porch, but they assumed she was a relative.
Alcorn was charged with criminal attempt – interference with the custody of a child, luring a child into a motor vehicle, and corruption of a minor.
Authorities allege Alcorn attempted to contact the student even after she resigned and knew she was under investigation.
“Alcorn returned to the school on Friday, March 13, to collect her personal belongings, and on the following Monday, the girl found ‘gifts and several letters, some encrypted, in her locker and desk,’ according to the criminal complaint. ‘The letters, written by Alcorn, instructed the 11-year-old female to contact her,’” WPXI reports.
“Alcorn hid her phone number on a math worksheet by telling the girl to dial numbers that had been circled, police said.”
Investigators told the media they don’t believe Alcorn’s “deep love” for the student – as she phrased it in texts – was sexual in nature.
Alcorn was released from jail on a $100,000 bond Wednesday and instructed not to have any contact with her student in any way, WPXI reports.
Pittsburgh parents who spoke with KDKA were clearly upset by the case.
“I just don’t understand. Where are (the district’s) background checks of teachers?” said Heather Lattner, mother of a 6-year-old. “The district should better scrutinize these potential employees. It seems people just don’t care anymore.”
Frank DeMarco, whose daughter was in Alcorn’s class, said the teacher was popular with students and would play smartphone apps like “Trivia Crack” with them.