Officials at a Texas school district have removed a woman who was tasked with helping decide sex curriculum after it was discovered that she had been previously convicted of prostitution.
“We had no idea what was going on in her personal life. She was always very friendly and personable,” said School Board trustee Kayla Lain of the Godley Independent School District.
An investigation by KDFW-TV also found that Ketcherside was currently advertising herself as an escort. A spokesperson for the district said the family of Ashley Ketcherside entered into the school district this year, and she was selected as part of the Long Range Facility Planning Committee.
Ketcherside also volunteered for the Family and Community Engagement Committee, Parent Teacher Organization, and Godley Athletic Booster Club as well as leading a local cheerleading group.
School Health Advisory Councils are required by Texas law, but the incident with Ketcherside is raising questions about how people are selected to participate.
“I would not want children to be subject to those type of people,” said Lain to KDFW. Lain said that she was made aware of Ketcherside’s prostitution conviction by a nonprofit group called Families Engaged for Effective Education.
“I don’t see any community wanting that to be the standard for their school district,” said Mary Lowe of the group. “I believe that parents need to know.”
She explained that parents became suspicious of Ketcherside when she claimed to own multiple businesses but did not provide any information about those businesses. When they investigated the matter, they discovered her past convictions.
Records show that Ketcherside, who was known under her maiden name of Ashley Villalobos at the time, was convicted of prostitution in 2012 and 2016. The district says it has informed Ketcherside that she is not able to serve on any district committees or volunteer activities.
Critics want the background check standards to be revised in order to prevent any similar situation in the future.
“We would think that typically if you ran a background check that those arrests would show up, and they don’t — they’re misdemeanors in the State of Texas,” said Lowe. “I think this is something that the state needs to look at in regards to how they’re screening people that participate in schools.”
Escort sites are legal in Texas as long as payment isn’t exchanged for sex. Ketcherside did not respond to requests from KDFW to comment on the story. Godley is a city of about 1,858 people in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Here’s a local news report about the incident:
Why It Matters (op-ed)
The recent revelation of a convicted prostitute involved in deciding sex education curriculum for a Texas school district is a wake-up call. This incident highlights the need for stricter background checks in our education system.
Parents should be concerned about who is influencing their children’s education. Having someone with a criminal past, especially in a sensitive area like sex education, is unacceptable. The state needs to reevaluate its screening process to ensure that such individuals are not involved in shaping our children’s future.
This case serves as a stark reminder that we must remain vigilant and demand transparency in our schools. Our children’s education, safety, and well-being should always be the top priority.
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