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Teachers With DUIs: Mom Talk

A Minooka teacher was arrested for DUI. Parents have a right to know.

I love teachers. My mom's a teacher. My cousins are teachers. My sister-in-law is a teacher. My aunts and uncles are teachers. My best friends are teachers. In a past life, my clients were textbook publishers — and teachers.

Education is serious business and I will wholeheartedly stand up and applaud each and every educator for what they do day in and day out.

I believe all schools should be palaces. I believe education is the silver bullet to improve our society. Teachers should make triple-digit salaries, hands down, no question.

Let it be established that I am a big fan of teachers.

Now comes Carrie Prosek. She is apparently a Minooka Community High School teacher who was arrested and charged with a DUI, illegal parking and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

To Ms. Prosek, I would extend my sympathy. She's obviously made a mistake — now, a very public one. I couldn't speculate whether or not this was a one-time event, or symptomatic of a larger, possibly ongoing problem in her life. We don't know. Maybe she doesn't either. Maybe she does.

The point is, we, as parents, have a right to know when teachers who are responsible for our children break the law. And fact of the matter is, the police say Prosek broke the law. Of course, the fact that she was charged doesn't mean that she is actually guilty. Either way, her credibility is being questioned.

As it should be! We as parents should always know the people who interact with our children — as often as humanly possible. Teachers beg parents to get more involved. Frankly, parents are not doing enough.

That responsibilty goes both ways. Just as parents should be involved with the day-to-day of our kids' schooling, so should teachers expect that when they act a fool, parents need to know about it.

When the broke on Patch, may people wrote in chastising the reporter. "Nadia" wrote that "non-violent misdemeanors do not qualify as 'parental concern.'"

My question to Nadia is, then what does? If a teacher gets arrested, then that's a flag.

"Kathy" called the story an invasion of privacy and asked the reporter if she enjoyed ruining people's lives. I will ask Kathy why she thinks Prosek didn't bring it on herself?

"Tanya" claims the story was inaccurate. I pulled the court records myself. According to the deputy's sworn statement, the arrest details mirror the story's account. That part was reported accurately.

There may have been an error in the subjects the teacher taught. The original story stated that Prosek taught driver's ed. That appears not to be true, although I have no confirmation either way.

From a parent's perspective, the class subject is almost irrelevant. Sorry, commenters, you can defend Ms. Prosek all day long. I believe that she is probably a good or even great teacher. She still can be.

The bottom line is that parents have every right to know. We need to know the teachers, coaches, clergy, friends and parents of other kids. This is not just a right, it is a responsibility.

I think it's great that students wrote in and stuck up for Prosek. It appears that a lot of people like this teacher. Let's hope and pray this is an isolated incident.

Yes, I think it is entirely possible for people to make mistakes — even getting behind the wheel when we have had too much to drink. I think that there must be few of us who haven't made that error at least once in our lives. Heck, with a name like Erin Gallagher, I am certain I'm related to a lot of them. Lord knows, I'm not in an ivory tower. Nor am I casting stones.

Even still, alcohol and vehicles do not mix. The consequences for such an action are dire. Lots of employers fire people over DUIs. People do get hurt. They do get killed. Drunk and buzzed driving is serious. It affects us all.

Teachers are not exempt from that. They need to be role models. They need to set themselves to a higher standard. Let's hope Prosek learns from this and uses this awful experience to continue being a quality role model for our students.

I had a friend in college who drove drunk once and killed a man. Since then, he was totally off the drink. In return, he regularly volunteered at schools to talk to kids about what happened to him. He expressed deep remorse and shame. He turned a heart-wrenching experience into a positive.

Ms. Prosek, I challenge you to do that. Show students how they can learn from your mistakes. If you can, I hope you keep teaching.

To weigh in with your opinion, click here for a poll on Facebook.

Don Damon September 28, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Bob, You're right! Any comments whatsoever need to be held 'til after her court date and the final outcome of her case is known. Reporting on "The Police Blotter" is often interesting and people should know about their police department's activity (it is a good reminder to always lock your car and take the keys). But ... all the people mentioned are truly innocent 'til proven guilty. When media professionals forget that fact (yes it is unarguably a fact) to report and editorialize concerning the alleged crime and the people involved it is extremely unprofessional.
Tim September 28, 2011 at 02:51 PM
with this article, patch just became 'garbagepatch'. Somehow, the editors and writers at patch are really trying to trump up this non-story into some big deal. But the readership has grown tired of these sort of irresponsible tabloid style posts, and are wondering why the more important stories are being ignored. In the meantime, the mayor of Channahon is facing MULTIPLE charges of tax evasion, has had his records subpoenaed which showed improper and possibly illegal personal spending of city money, and the best that patch can do is link to a single Tribune story about it. But when a teacher gets arrested for a DUI while waiting in her PARKED car for a ride home, multiple articles are written about it? Minooka-Channahon needs to get its priorities in order, in a big way.
Bob September 28, 2011 at 02:58 PM
I totally agree Tim the longer this story is front page news the more Joe Cook and his administration are continuing to do their happy dance.
Jay Weldon September 28, 2011 at 05:12 PM
Wow the comments and opinions go on and on isn't that a constitutional given right? However the situation happened the court of law will determine weather or not she is innocent or guilty that is what it is for. I wish her the best and hope that if she does have a problem with alcohol that this incident helps her to see if it does or doesn't. As to the patch being a garbage patch....no way it is a place where freedom of speech comes together on our local community to be shared with others.
Pam September 28, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Thanks Erin This is alot of what i was saying. i was stunned to see her blood alcohol level was .229 that is a level that alot of people would be passed out with. the level doesn't lie and i believe it will play a role in her case. the statistics are scarey on DUI and many children and adults have lost their life due to a drunk driver. I sure she is a nice person who has made a big mistake i think people would help her better by writing about her not about all the other drunk drivers that are not reported on or tax envasion cases that are not reported on in my opinon a teacher that would possibly take care of my child having a blood alcohol level of .229 is worst then tax envasion cases. hopefully she will learn from this and not think that she did nothing wrong no matter how her court case comes out. thank you to the officer who may have saved a life by catching her. and everyone please read the statistics on this and teach your children that drinking and being behind the wheel is not right. www.madd.org/statistics/
Tim September 28, 2011 at 06:59 PM
You know, there are a lot of assumptions in this post. The multiple articles left one important thing out, that was in the police report, for unknown reasons. The woman was waiting in her PARKED car. She was not driving it anywhere, it was not in drive. The only 'mistake' she made, was running her car to keep warm on a cool night while she was waiting for her ride home. She actually did do the responsible thing, and got pinned by an overzealous joliet cop. With all the rush to report this, Im sure everyone will look forward to the followup of this case as it makes its way through each stage of the court process... right? Her court appearance is Oct 25th at 9am in room 304, and I fully expect the 'reporters' who have been beating on this non-stop for a week now, will be there in the courthouse to report on exactly what happens.
Pam September 28, 2011 at 09:03 PM
like i said before tim .229 doesn't lie and if she was waiting why would you wait in the car why not the place you were drinking inside? haven't seen anything saying that she had called for a ride? i believe that these are questioned that will be asked by a jury. that overzealous cop may have saved your teachers life and you and her should be thanking him. I am glad that she was not able to drive and kill a child maybe even a former student talk about shame then it would have been national. again .229 not .08 or .09 but .229 WOW read the statistics this is more then likely not her first time drinking but i hope its the last time she Sits Behind A Wheel Of A Car Drunk. but maybe if we continue to blame everyone else she will think she did nothing wrong and next time the overzealous cop may be off work. hope she waits for that ride and doesn't drive off in that already running car. it looks crazy that people are upset that the article said she was a drivers ed teacher and she wasn't bottom line is she was a teacher in charge of children.
Don Damon September 28, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Pam, stop and read what yo're writing. While you chastise Tim for considering the possibility that she wasn't driving and was doing the right thing you launch into a rant assuming that she must have been driving. "i hope its the last time she Sits Behind A Wheel Of A Car Drunk" certainly implies that you have already found her guilty. I, instead, hope she was doing the right thing and waiting for a friend to drive her home. And before declaring her guilty give her a day in court. While it seems to be rare there are folks who do the right thing. If you know more first hand facts about the case than we do your testimony in court on Oct 25th could be valuable.
Mark McCullen September 28, 2011 at 10:11 PM
I am completely stunned that this is honestly still going on when our mayor is literally feeding off of our tax money. What gives? Yes- parents have the right to know and they can read all about it in the police blotter. Obviously if their childs teacher or a teacher in their school is in the blotter they will hear about it. Creating another top story on the same DUI case when our community is about to be in shambles is crazy!
Tim September 28, 2011 at 11:41 PM
There is no journalism here at Patch, at least not here in the Minooka-Channahon Patch. This has turned into nothing more than a gossip rag for all the holier-than-thou types to come and feel good about themselves by judging others. Reporting on what is going on with the administration in Channahon would take actual journalism, and critical thinking. The fact that this story about a teacher has now been posted twice, while this is going on, shows quite clearly that neither of those two things exists in the editorial staff here.
Patrick Worrall September 29, 2011 at 03:54 AM
So, because her blood alcohol level was .229, she had obviously been driving. That's great logic and reasoning. As for why she didn't stay in the place she was drinking. Maybe it was closing. Ever think of that. No, of course not, because you've already decided she's guilty.
Patrick Worrall September 29, 2011 at 03:55 AM
@Don Damon: Don't waste your time arguing with Pam. She's appointed herself as police, judge, jury, and executioner and has pronounced Ms. Prosek guilty.
Patrick Worrall September 29, 2011 at 03:57 AM
Wow...really. She hasn't even had her court date and a second article about the arrest, this one essentially written as if she had already been found guilty.
Tom Koz September 29, 2011 at 03:29 PM
Me thinks we, the public, should all know whenever a reporter possibly breaks the law. Think about it, they do write things that our children could read and they could have an influence on our children. The Patcth should add a tab - "Laws Possibly Broken by Reporters".
Pam September 29, 2011 at 03:45 PM
Tim was just stating what everyone has been saying that she wasn't driving (how they know is a ? ) but that she was just sitting in the car with it running trying to get warm waiting for her ride. at a blood level of .229 i am sure she wasn't cold lucky to be awake. i have been on a jury of DUI case and i think she might be better off going with the judge and not a jury. jury will find it harder to believe that she was just getting warm with a level of .229 maybe the place she was at called to stop her from pulling away but that will all come out in court hope it goes her way.
Patrick Worrall September 29, 2011 at 03:48 PM
I know of no laws being broken by the reporter.
Tim September 29, 2011 at 03:55 PM
How we know she was sitting in her car is not a 'question'. It is right there in the police report if you want the exact details, if the charge of 'illegal PARKING' was too much thought for you to figure out the car wasn't actually moving, or even in drive. You could, you know, read these things before making your assumptions. For a gossip rag like these Patch editors/writers through, running with assumptions seems to be the norm. Checking the facts, is the rarity it seems.
Patrick Worrall September 29, 2011 at 03:55 PM
Pam, The people who are saying that were saying that she wasn't driving and had no intention of driving are basing it off of her side of the story. Whether that is true will be up to the judge and/or jury to decide. What does the alcohol level have anything to do with whether she was driving or not. You've questioned where others get their information and in the same comment speculate that the place where she was stopped her from pulling out????? As for judge vs jury. Someone I know was on a jury for a man who got a DUI while sleeping in his car. They found him not guilty because the police could not prove he ever even tried to drive his car. Based on what I saw previously, the car running may be speculation in itself.
Pam September 29, 2011 at 06:07 PM
Patrick, I do not know this teacher or person who reported it but maybe you do and take this very personal. what i know is that i did not see anything saying that she was claiming to just be sitting waiting for a ride is this her statement? did she write that at the police station as her statement? but with a blood level of .229 could she even write? what i did learn on a jury is that sometimes they don't do the level till they are at the station and if this is the case what was her level when they first talked with her? all i was saying as a person who doesn't know her or anyone else in this i may be more like a juror. it may be better for her to choose a judge not jury.Also did you look at the statistics? More then likely not her first time. I hope that this gets her some help because doesn't look like her friends are gonna do this they should have been the ones who stopped her in the first place. FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS SIT IN A RUNNING CAR ALONE DRUNK. www.madd.org/statistics/
hannah September 29, 2011 at 10:15 PM
this paper needs to hire some new people for reporting or for doing the research at least. me and my friends googled a bunch of teachers names last nite and were freakin amazed at what we discovered! one of our male teachers has 3 duis! wtf! ms. prosek has one and shes blasted. i wish the reporter chic knew how motivating ms. prosek is. idk- she made a mistake but all this sh** is crazy. she still rocks!!!!!!!!
Cindy White September 30, 2011 at 03:01 AM
Erin you said it perfectly. I should have read this prior to my own statement!
Jim V October 03, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Pam, Get off your soap box for a minute and remember that this lady is a person just like all of us. People make mistakes good or bad everyone does. If she was standing in front of a classroom with a .229 BAL then we have a story, but she wasn't she was on HER personal time enjoying HER personal life. I DO NOT approve of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I would like to know how in the world you got on a DUI jury. That poor citizen who stood up in court with you on their jury was hung before the got a chance. Did you tell them you support MADD (great organization not slamming them or what they support). Did you tell them you know everything about people driving drunk and when they should not be cold or awake. I'm sorry I missed the page or link to your credentials stating that you are an expert in the field. I suggest you start thinking before you speak or type about someone else, I'm pretty sure that somewhere in that big glass house you live in there are a few broken windows. Here's an idea for you, instead of trying to ruin the woman's life on the Patch and slander her, be a true MADD representative and reach out to her privately and offer her your help and knowledge of Drinking and DUI.
Will October 03, 2011 at 04:28 PM
While I agree in principle with the article (I do agree with the fact that teachers should be held to a higher standard because of the nature of their jobs), I agree with you as well Bob. So far she hasn't been convicted of these charges so to already be condemning her as guilty goes agains the very foundations of this country's laws. Let a judge or jury hear the case, and if she is indeed found guilty...then she must face the consequences...if she isn't...then why should she lose her job for breaking no law?
Tiff October 18, 2011 at 01:48 PM
Pam, I don't know what you don't get about waiting for a ride. She wasn't driving around killing kids. SHE WAS SITTING IN A CAR. I don't care if she drank a bottle of vodka, she wasn't driving home.
Skb October 19, 2011 at 02:44 AM
I'm sure she did nothing wrong and it is the cops fault.isn't that what our society is coming to in the it's every bodiesD fault but my own mentality we have these days.i don't drink and I know that I could get a DUI just sitting in my car with the keys in the ignition so with her obvious thrist for alcohol (.229 wow)you would think she would know also. If she was sitting in her car waiting for a "ride" ,which is complete bs anyway,she should have left the keys outside of the vehicle.and I am by no means a fan of the police but I will say I never got a ticket I didn't deserve or blame the cop for writing it. What a joke. I would also bet when the case comes up she will the only thing she won't plea is not guilty. Then you people will say she didn't have any other choice than to take a plea deal because the cop,judge and prosecuter were picking on this poor girl. All I can say for the mayor is that the last thing he needs is a $1500 dollar steak ,wow.
Skb October 19, 2011 at 02:57 AM
What do you think she is going to tell the cop,she was just warming the car for the ride home or she just arrived from the last bar. Of course she is going to make up the best story to put her in the best light.she obviously knew she was going drinking so why was her car ther at all?maybe these days it's the norm to go out and get hammmmerred and then when its 2or 3 in the morning you call and wake up your designated driver. Lmao fools
Skb October 19, 2011 at 02:59 AM
I have seen the light,it is the reporters fault.
courtney October 25, 2011 at 12:13 AM
I missed the post by Ms. Prosek stating anything that she did/said in regards to what she told the cop, what time it was, what bar she was left, or anything for that matter. Your speculation is insightful, Carl, oh...I mean...Skb.
courtney October 25, 2011 at 12:16 AM
If you would read the posts, everyone clearly states that Ms. Prosek is at fault. It also states how Ms. Aulet made a major error in her reporting but failed to make corrections properly, and that is her fault.
Laurie November 10, 2012 at 08:18 PM
I firmly disagree with a teacher arrested for dui being allowed to continue teaching. It is an impaired decision to drink and drive, so how many other impaired decisions have been made (maybe around our kids) In Connecticut I know of one teacher who has three dui's and has lost her license and is still allowed to teach. I think the problem is much deeper than anyone here believes.

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