Last Friday a parent of a child who was in Rushton’s 3rd grade class last year identified aliases used by Rushton to promote her Sam Taylor Mullens pen name books and also to harass me as the real names of children in the class. Parents who have contacted me are extremely shocked and upset to find their children’s name on websites that have blogged about the case. Several parents claim that some of the children’s email addresses were also used to create the accounts (I have no way of verifying this, though). I was utterly stunned by the news. The estimate we have is that a dozen real names or variations were used.
My heart goes out to these parents and their children. The parents have asked that their names not be used or their emails posted, so of course I will respect that. As a group, they have so far chosen not to talk about the event, whether on their own or after encouragement from the school district it is unclear. At least one parent told my attorney that they didn’t want to upset Rushton’s life further. I admit that this makes me feel very alone because my life is completely upset, but I respect that they must have thought this over and are choosing what they think is best for their children. Fortunately, they have the help of authorities, unlike with my civil case where I have to go it all alone, so if action is taken, it won’t cost their financial future as it is mine.
I have sent the screenshots of the accounts to the authorities and the parents who’ve requested them, including the posts that admit to writing the bad reviews on my books and posting negative statements about me on Facebook. They have followed up with the school district and at least one filed a complaint with the police department. This is completely separate from my case, which is in a civil court.
Again, this is a sobering development. I really don’t know what will happen at the school district level, but my condolences go out to the parents.
We have finished three of the box sets to help fund the lawsuit. I am committed to taking this all the way, to make a stand against plagiarism, but I need your continued support.
Please consider making a donation on the Go Fund Me account. Even five or ten dollars will help. At the very least, could you please share this on Facebook, Twitter, and other groups sites? I need help to make this all end. Thank you!
And thanks again to the authors for donating their books!
(Update: These books were only available for a year and are no longer available.)
12 Responses to “Teacher Use Students’ Real Names—New Developments in the Sam Taylor Mullen’s Plagiarism Case”
Rachel Ann Nunes
I have spoken to her as Sam Taylor Mullens, as Abby F. (name redacted), Aubrey (name redacted), Mercedes D (name redacted,) Jennifer Booklover, Jennifer Greer, and as Tiffanie Rushton pretending to be a "friend" of Sam Taylor Mullens, and now I am talking to her as K. A few minutes after this post, you also posted on John Dopp's blog from Tiffanie's home computer. I talked to the parents and they told me none of them wrote this post and it absolutely doesn't represent how they feel about Mrs. Rushton. If you understand that you made a poor judgment in writing, will you please take responsibility for that so this can be put behind us?
Have you personally spoken to Tiffanie? Do you know her personally? I've recently spoken to her and I know her more than just as my child's former teacher. If my daughter grows up to be half the person Mrs. Rushton is she will be nothing less than amazing. Over the last year she went through a lot – you can physically tell she lost over 50 lbs. without trying. She had surgeries. I completely understand she made an error in judgement when it came to her personal writing – something I don't condone, but you've smeared her enough on blogs. You dragged our kids names into and now to bash on me as a parent is unnecessary.
I applaud that parent for taking steps to help. I understand why you would want to stay out of the spotlight. It's not your responsibility to take on Rushton, but I do think it would set a good example, especially when the school has swept it under the rug (had she not used the children's names, that plagiarist would still be teaching and setting a moral example for your children).
If you chose to, you might consider choosing a few reliable media sources, and agree to speak out on the condition of anonymity for yourself and your child.
It would be nice to have your voice heard, before Rushton again tries to speak for you, by using your name/identity, as she's already done to both you and your children. Which she probably WILL do again. She can't seem to stop herself. The woman is frightening in her delusions and relentless attempts to make those she has victimized suffer even more. It won't stop until everyone who has the power to stop her does everything they can to do so.
Everyone is sorry and upset that your children are involved, but by not speaking out, parents have allowed the school district to cover up the whole thing! I talked to my young daughter about this, and she said if her teacher had done it, she'd want to talk to the media so people knew she didn't support what the teacher did. I don't know if I'd let her or if I'd talk in her place, but she wanted to clear her name. I bet the news would be absolutely kind and supportive to you. They would not vilify or burn any child. Whoever told you that really doesn't understand how careful newscasters are not to be sued.
The parents have stopped Mrs. Rushton from teaching for now, though she'll likely just go to another school district. But only a court can stop her from plagiarizing and that, unfortunately, will mean a lot more support. Keeping silent on the issue doesn't help Rachel at all. In fact, it seems to be condoning the infringement and harassment. This may be over for the parents, but it's far from over for Rachel. Rushton has stolen months from her life and without support, Rushton may just succeed in stealing a whole lot more. If Rachel gives up her court case for lack of funding, I wouldn't be surprised if all those children's fake accounts suddenly reappear.
Rachel Ann Nunes
I am so grateful for the support of authors and readers. I couldn't have come this far without the support!
Rachel Ann Nunes
Thanks, Sarah, I appreciate it. I could certainly use those prayers!
I want you all to know what we as parents have done: We have met together to discuss this multiple times. We took our concerns to the district. We took our concerns to the principal of the school. We contacted the local police department. We contacted Rachel's lawyer. We contacted our own lawyer. We contacted Rachel. We contacted multiple blog owners. We even went as far as to contact Mrs. Rushton directly and demand that this be stopped. Each of us have had long discussions with our children about this. We have done, what I consider, a lot to stop Mrs Rushton. The only thing that we haven't done is to contact the media. We all talked about it and weighed the risk of it and decided it wasn't worth it. The media has a way of distorting the truth as well as burning the children without realizing it. We all want this to stop for the sake of our children as well as for Rachel.
Hang in there Rachel. I think this is worth fighting for, even if you feel alone right now. Think of all the other authors it could possibly affect if no one takes a stand. I really admire you battling this, and am sending prayers your way.
If they stood up to her, she'd lash out at them. I personally understand the feeling of being afraid to stand up to a bully, and thinking it's best to just leave them alone. I understand the logic. Still, it's discouraging to you. The fewer people stand up to her, the fewer allies you have.
As a mother of a 5, I just really can't understand the parents not wanting to upset Rushtons life. My daughter's life and her name belongs to HER and no one else. I am in a tiny town where if your stir the water, everyone knows about it immediately. If that had happened here i would say "So be it" and take action because NO ONE has the right to use my daughter's name to inflict pain on someone else. We are here to protect and lead our children and to show them consequences absolutely apply to adults! They are missing out on a very important teachable moment here. What a shame.
I can understand why you would be disheartened by the parents' decision, Rachel Ann. It's as if the parents don't consider theft, harassment, and damage to your career a crime. That's an unfortunate message to send to their children.
~ Crystal ~
Just when I think she couldn't sink any lower, this comes out. It's so sad the lengths she went to.