Community reacts to arrest of Tri-State educator - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Community reacts to arrest of Tri-State educator

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Entrance to Monroe City School District. Entrance to Monroe City School District.
Police Department sign hung on side of building. Police Department sign hung on side of building.
Monroe City Police Department car parked in lot. Monroe City Police Department car parked in lot.
Sign positioned outside a Monroe City School entrance. Sign positioned outside a Monroe City School entrance.
MONROE CITY, Mo. (WGEM) -

Many in Monroe City Missouri are shocked tonight after serious allegations against a Tri-Sate educator. 

Prosecutors charged Monroe City School District paraprofessional Jerry McClusky with felony attempted enticement of a child. Todd Harsell kept thinking about the safety of his daughters and others students after learning of the arrest. 

"It made me very nervous that something like this could happen in a small rural community," Harsell said. "It hits real close to home."

With daughters age 16 and 12, Harsell thought what if this happened to his kids? 

"I would probably be furious," Harsell explained. "Definitely wanting some answers."

That's what many in the community want after hearing what prosecutors say McClusky did.

"They look up to them and to do something like that, she's going to be scared for the rest of her life," resident Gloria Deport said.

Court documents say McCluskey was a counselor for a 14 year old student and text messages turned inappropriate. Some talking about the student losing her virginity and performing sex acts on McCluskey. It struck a nerve with some community members.

"I find it very demoralizing and I try to be compassionate to people, but when it comes to endangering our children, I lose my compassion," resident Terry Tesson said.

Harsell says he knew McCluskey. The two worked together for the city's volunteer fire department.

"It's funny how you can work with somebody and never know what happens behind closed doors," Harsell said.

As someone who works at the Hannibal School District, The allegations appall Harsell.

"They're children," Harsell explained. "I don't understand why that would even enter your mind. It's just amazing how someone could fathom doing something like this."

Superintendent Tracy Bottoms contacted authorities after learning about the allegations and then put McClusky on administrative leave. 
Bottoms told WGEM "It's our responsibility to ensure the safety of our students. We will work to ensure situations like this don't happen in the future."

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