Metro Nashville Public Schools suspended Hillwood High School special education teacher Mary Wade this week, after her fifth arrest in the last six months for repeatedly harassing and stalking her ex-husband.
Wade faces a felony aggravated stalking charge for the “continuing harassment” of her ex-husband despite an active restraining order dating back to June. Through Wade’s first four arrests, she continued to work with special needs students at the high school, but district officials confirmed Wade was placed on leave this week pending the new felony charge.
Detailed in Wade’s most recent aggravated stalking charge is the “continuing harassment” of the victim. Wade is accused of calling her husband’s work asking if he was employed there and saying that the police were on their way to arrest one of their employees. Wade has reportedly posted from the victim’s Facebook page and posted a photo of him during one of their court proceedings to Instagram, saying her husband “failed to protect her.”
Court records allege Wade, who has worked for Nashville schools since 2014, also harassed her ex-husband with death threats, contacting him through fake Facebook accounts and blocked numbers, WSMV reports.
“I was shocked,” parent Ana Garcia told the news site.
Garcia’s child is in the high school’s special education program, and she’s glad officials removed the teacher.
“We need these kids safe in our school, and we don’t need people like that in our school,” she said.
Other parents agreed.
“You would expect that a professional that deals with children and parents would try to keep a clean record,” Erica Munsell said.
Parent Bobby Rindhage believes the teacher’s repeated arrested point to bigger issues.
“I’m honestly a little bit in the middle about it. I think when you get to a point of being arrested that many times in a short period of time you’d have to look at a lot of different issues it would start to show that there might be some mental issues,” he said.
“When it’s that consistent it starts to show a trend that’s not a stability I’d want around my child. I’d prefer they’re with someone who’s in a better mental state.”
Sharon Shride, another parent, also thinks “five times in six months is a lot” of arrests.
“She should have learned her lesson the first arrest, and she’s a role model so what she does outside of the school does affect the children. It’s not secret, whatever’s hidden is gonna come out in the light eventually,” she said.
Others in the community seem to disagree, arguing that Wade’s behavior outside of school shouldn’t impact her employment.
“It seems like it’s a personal thing between her and her husband or ex-husband and I don’t see how that involves the school or any children,” Lennie Minter told WZTV. “A lot of people get demonized and things said about them, make a big mountain out of it, and a lot of times it’s not about anything.”