KENNEBUNK, Maine — A former Kennebunk teacher, acquitted on all charges of alleged sexual misconduct, says she has no regrets about trying to help a student.
For more than a year, former Kennebunk High School teacher Jill Lamontagne remained silent in the face of sexual misconduct allegations against her.
Now that’s she’s been found not guilty on all charges, she’s ready to talk.
“I feel relieved,” Lamontagne said. “A great weight has been lifted off my shoulders, for sure.”
She says the entire ordeal has been very painful for her and her family, but she wants others to learn from her experience.
“I loved teaching,” Lamontagne said. “That was definitely my dream job, but I have a great trauma counselor, and having been through this traumatic event, it’s not something I ever want to forget. So, I think I would like to use that and help others.”
Jill Lamontagne says that she hasn’t decided yet if she wants to return to teaching, but is considering it. RSU 21 Superintendent Katie Hawes says that Lamontagne violated the school policy against texting students, resigned, and her position has been filled.
“The real problem is the school’s policy itself,” Lamontagne’s attorney, Scott Gardner, said. “Almost every teacher at Kennebunk, in the modern day, that’s how you communicate with a 16- or 17-year-old kid is by text.”
Jill Lamontagne says she always had her students’ best interests at heart and says she has no regrets about trying to help this student.
“I do hope he gets the help that he needs,” Lamontagne said.
She says she’d like to think a not guilty verdict would wipe the slate clean.
“But I don’t think that’s how our world works,” Lamontagne said.
She says schools are a scary place to work right now, where a student’s allegation can put you on this path.
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