Pender teacher's cyberstalking charge makes international headlines

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The story of a Burgaw Middle School teacher charged with cyberstalking a 13-year-old boy is now getting international attention.

Saturday morning ABCNews.com posted its own version of the story (linked below) involving teacher Megan Mantooth, who was arrested earlier this month after allegedly sending hundreds of text messages to her former student.

Earlier this week, Britain's Daily Mail also posted a story about the case.

The ABCNews.com story includes more allegations about Mantooth's behavior, as well as criticism of Elizabeth Graham, the mother of the alleged victim, for going public with the story in an interview with WWAY and later a local newspaper.

Mantooth has not spoken publicly about the allegations and charges. She is scheduled to be in court next month.

Teacher Charged With Cyberstalking Roils Small North Carolina Town
By RESHMA KIRPALANI (ABCNews.com)
June 25, 2011

A middle school teacher has been charged with cyberstalking one of her 13-year-old students, and the boy's mother claims that her son isn't the only one receiving inappropriate text messages from the female teacher.

Megan Mantooth, 26, is a popular eighth grade math teacher in Burgaw Middle School, a tiny town of 4,000 people in southern North Carolina where her husband is a deputy sheriff. She is also the mother of two, including a 4-month-old baby.

The allegations against her have roiled the town with many people defending her and lashing out at her accusers.

Mantooth has been charged with cybertalking, allegedly sending "hundreds" of text messages to her student, which included "a lot of sexual innuendos," according to the boy's mother, Elizabeth Graham.

According to Graham, Mantooth obtained her son's cellphone number from a fellow student and started texting the child on June 8. Graham said that initially the math teacher texted her son his final grades, followed by general inquiries about his summer plans.

"About two hours later, she was still texting my child and my husband took away his phone," Graham said.

The "hundreds" of texts that Graham said Mantooth sent her child included one that Graham read to ABCNews.com:

"I wish you were home by yourself right now because I don't have the kids," and "More how? As in see ME more or less clothes more, or both."

Mantooth allegedly compared herself to the middle school female students telling the boy that she would "look better in a bikini," Graham said. She also allegedly made plans to meet the student at his beach house, texting him, "I cannot wait 8 more days to see you."

The mother believes that the middle school teacher was developing an emotional relationship with her13-year-old son.

Click here to read the rest of this story at ABCNews.com.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

On two separate occasions I have had over a hundred text messages logged to my Verizon account. I rarely text (no more than 15 texts a month) because I use my land line most of the time. Customer service seemed unable to verify the validity of the excessive number of texts that were on record on my account, yet I did not have any more than the usual 15 texts I knew I'd sent and received recorded on my phone. Technology has its quirks. Seems like anything can happen when it comes to electronic records.

I wonder how many other teachers were in the same ship as her???? Hmmmm... What's next Pender excuse me "Burgaw".. I mean really, this town is out of control. Deputy fired, board members resigning, personnel files stolen, the animal shelter (which is way out of control) i was by there today and WTF!!! dogs in the bathroom??? Seriously??? Burgaw really needs to sit back and do a personal evaluation on themselves. If people did what they were suppose to be doing at least 95% of the time (not even 100%) things would be a lot better off for the better. As far as that teacher goes, good luck, be honest and never forget " It's all good until you get caught".

There are several key things that need to be looked at. First Mantooth admitted to sending the messages. She was upfront and honest. That doesnt make what she did right. Second the cell phone was taken by local law enforcement so the messages had to have been forwarded to another cell phone or email address. With todays technological advances theses messages that have been made public could have been altered. Under NC law this could cause the text messages to be dismissed as evidence. Third the fact that her husband is a Deputy sheriff makes no difference in this case what so ever. The husband is part of a special investigations division of Pender County Sheriff's department and is away from his family for long periods of time so there is no way he can monitor his wife and her actions at all times. People need to realize that Mantooth has a family and a good one at that. It is not fair to bash her husband two children and other family members for what she may or may not have done. Finally the last time I checked in this country a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a jury of peers. Quit judging when you do not have ALL the facts. No matter what the out come is her husband will still be risking his life every day to protect yours and her family will still have to live in the community. Let the court system handle this and stay out of peoples problems because tomorrow it could be you in the headlines. Would you want your husband or wife being bashed by people who dont know the facts? NO! On another note if you believe everything the media tell you, then you are not very observant to the real world.

Ok I usually do not comment on blogs, but I just could'nt help but saying; Dont you people have anything better to do with your time?....I mean I know bolgs are meant for people to express there opinions, but to get on here and bash the people involved in the Mantooth case, and each other???? Come on guys. Although, it is hillarious seeing you people act like that! lol

According to Lt. Billy Sanders of the Pender County Police Department....."Sanders said that the police department is still waiting for records from the phone company to confirm exactly how many text messages were sent from Mantooth to the child."

SO, she was charged BEFORE they had the records. WWAY NEEDS TO LOOK INTO THIS MORE.

"SO, she was charged BEFORE they had the records. WWAY NEEDS TO LOOK INTO THIS MORE"

Wow! First your only reading what you want to read and are paying attention to nothing else. You are naive and disillusioned as most people on this board are. But anyhow, looks like you cracked the case, that's all we needed to hear and expose the whole thing as a sham and a setup!! Hurry, run to the police to let them know of the botched job they did on this arrest and they didn't have enough proof... then they will give you a free kiddie car ride back home to mommy.... and maybe let you play with the siren on the way home! Good work young Inspector Gadget! Seriously, with comments like this and others on here you people show your ignorance and I wonder how you find your way out of your driveways. Ignorant people and children seriously need to get off this board. You are embarrassing all of Burgaw with your comments. If you want to help her at all just stop writing and spouting off with your sheer ignorance to the world with knee jerk comments. You people keep showing you are clearly non-sensible and have no logic or reasoning and are not making her look any better.

Bestman where you referring to the term "moron"? Maroon is a color...lol. I never meant for my comments to offend or embarass anyone. I've just tried to explain that charges are a governments formal notification that a crime has been committed. The government still has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed. The only thing I can tell from the news reporting is what led up to the teacher being charged. I have no way of knowing at this stage her innocence or guilt. I want to know all the facts before I make up my mind. Some folks seem to have already made up their minds because the charge was made. That's ok but please don't label some of us ignorant because we need more information before passing judgement. After all, the laws in this country allow for that.

I believe what the commentor meant by maroons was this definition: to isolate without resources.
Which would make sense in the way the poster phrased it. Would have to agree in that respect since it does seem that alot of the people posting here do not sound informed and seem isolated.

u r an idiot

Actually you are the one embarrassing your community with your comment. Filled with insults and name calling but avoiding the point. The police said they were STILL waiting for the phone records, meaning they did NOT have them in hand when they pressed charges.

I in no way want to "help" this teacher, I was only pointing out what Saunders said. I guess you don't excel in reading comprehension, you probably went to Pender High.

"I guess you don't excel in reading comprehension, you probably went to Pender High". You pointed out that Bestman was embarrassing the community and being insulting. Your comment about Pender High was also embarrassing and insulting. I am friends with several Pender High graduates and my daughter just graduated from there this month. My friends, as well as my daughter, are very proficient in reading comprehension. I am an honest, hard-working individual who could not afford to send my child to a private school, so I did the best I could by sending her to the local public schools. Pender High has produced numerous graduates who have attended college and have fullfilling careers--just so you know.

No where in the ABC report do they criticize the accuser for filing charges or going public. Your the ones that brought it to the public. Why are you lying WWAY? The ABC report does not even hint at that. The only thing it says is how commentors NOT commentators on your site are ridiculing. Just local people here in the comments section, thats what they referred to. The local goofballs. But if you look at their site, and any other site that is reporting this you will see the rest of the civilized world does not chastize the mom at all, but they applaud her action and back her up for reporting it. The rest of the civilized world sees the one charged as sick if the allegations are true. Also they are in disbelief of why folks here are quick to defend the accused instead of the 13yr old child victim!
Also ABC had the guts to report even further into what you were afraid to, alot more detail such as the investigator obtained the phone for two days before pressing charges. Also she turned herself in, also more detail of how explicit the texts were and pointed to sex and a meet, looking better in a bikini that her students?... etc etc. The amount you reported was biased and not coming forward with the whole story you knew. The ABC report went further and if you had reported these things to begin with the ones commenting here and claiming she is a saint they may have commented alot differently rather than backing this teacher up 100%. There wouldnt be a "roiled" town if you would just report the true facts instead of muddling and covering it all up!

The child's phone was turned over to the police, so the parents must have forwarded all of the messages to another phone so that they could show them to people. That's why all of the messages on that phone have been forwarded.

Pedophile is not a word that only applies to men, this woman is a pedophile. Thankfully, she never got the chance to lure this boy into a private meeting. To the people who say that Beth should have gone to the teacher and her husband instead of the police, you are ridiculous. If you knew the person who broke into your home and stole your jewelry, would you go to them and ask them to please not do that anymore or would you call the police? Those of you who are placing blame on the boy, shame on you. This boy is 13 years old, he does not have the life experience or sophistication to be responsible for any of this. Even if he did have a crush on this teacher, how does that justify her actions? I hope that this teacher is not too busy defending herself to realize that she completely violated this boy's trust. Ideally, she will get some jail time out of this, have her name added to the sex offenders registry and never be allowed to work with children again. I have no sympathy to spare for her.

Okay, g's mom, you seem to have all of the facts, all of the evidence and already know the outcome. Would it make you feel better to douse the teacher with a few gallons of gasoline and flick the Bic yourself?

You are making far too many assumptions to justify your accusations and that only signals the extreme limits of a closed and simple mind. Perhaps you are an experienced detective, maybe a seasoned investigator or perhaps you tend to believe that the way CSI works on TV is real. In reality, you sound more like a scorned mom ready to put this teacher away forever based on the emotional heartstring of a little 13 year old Johnny without the estabishment of, or even the consideration of...the facts. You would have bode well in the old days of the witchhunts. The mob mentality was ALWAYS right in those days and some people, such as yourself, seem to maintain it under cloak.

Until the FACTS are on the table, you should be careful to wish such hateful things on a person under fire. You may find yourself in a similar situation at some point in your life. The fall from a high horse can be a very long way to the ground for a person so short on objectivity!

Now...what in the world would you have to say if lil' Johnny himself performed some spoofing so it would look like he was privy to the teach to all of his buddies...and it backfired? "Noooo, not lil' Johnny, he's only 13, he didn't know any better....and on and on and on...." We've all heard THAT before too! What would you cal lil' Johnny then, a pedophilic instigator? I doubt so...

The evidence and the facts will eventually come to the surface for all to see. I may have to eat my words, but I have a gut feeling there are a few surprises in store for those of you that emerged from under a rock to sling your nasty, mean comments.

Guest461... everything you said was spoken by a true hypocrite. You are objectionable to the reasoning here and are chastising to anyone that is simply going on the facts reported. For anyone including you to comment on anything else OTHER than what we are reading and know is just basing your comments on nothing but your opinion and a mind wandering too far from the facts stated. You judging the 13yr old is sad, yet you are treading around it with careful words. You are throwing the same stones back at people you do not want, yet only from the other side of the fence. Hypocrite.

...there are only allegations, yet everyone thinks the teacher should be burned at the stake based completely on the allegations WITHOUT facts. They call her a "pedophile"? A very cruel condemnation without basis at this point! When the FACTS do come in, that's when the rubber hits the road. I do not have an opinion about lil' Johnny, nor am I judging him, it is simply a hypothetical scenario that is very, very real. I've seen far too many mean little kids do stupid things like this without the ability to understand how they can backfire and have to face the consequences!
There is a positive black and white evidence trail here that will prove who is who and who did what. That's what I'm waiting for in the midst of the "armchair witch-hunters".

I've posted before that I didn't believe the investigators had checked the phone records to see where these texts originated. Crimes that involve children are going to be taken seriously and investigated fully before a person that is charged can be fully exonerated or convicted.

What bothers me is all the media coverage based on only charges. Citizens can be charged with just about anything. If they are so ridiculous the magistrate probably wouldn't allow it to go any further. However, this is a charge involving a minor so of course it can't be dismissed. Again, charges don't necessarily equate to quilt.

If this teacher is found guilty I'm positive that our laws will prevail. But what if she is innocent? All of this coverage and bringing pictures of her family into this seems like its aiding a RUSH TO JUDGEMENT.

All of the facts will eventually come out about this situation. What should have been handled as a private matter has now escalated to national and international news.

I just hope everyone remembers the families on both sides situation are human beings and not just news stories and subjects for gossip.

Your wording makes it sound like the ABCNews.com story criticizes the mother for discussing the story with the media. It does not. It reports that your absolutely ridiculous viewers criticize her in the comments section of your first story.

You know, I feel like if the kid had been older, aka 16-18, it wouldn't be as bad (still unacceptable but not as much). But the fact that he's 13 is not right, I remember how I was at 13 and how awkward the boys were at 13, so I just don't understand why a pretty married mother would find this kid attractive?

Why are there FWD notices on all of the text messages if they came directly from her phone?

If you read the story, it says the investigator obtained the phone for further evidence, I would guess he continued to text her posing as the boy still before filing charges two days later.
Obviously the mother did not any longer have the phone since she handed it over to the police.. so how did she show the messages on the newsclip? My guess is she did not want to loose that evidence by turning it in, so as a backup she forwarded every message to her personal phone as backup for her own records. Thats why they say FWD on them. That is what I would have done, and likely anyone else so that to me would explain it.

because they were fowarded to the police.

I want to know the same thing!! Forwards??? And doesn't it look like the authorities would have the the child's phone so it could be used as evidence? And why is Channel 3 the only news outlet reporting this? Hmmmmm

We recently just heard of the story, I called my son because he was in her class his eight grade year, I asked him was he surprised to her abour Mrs. mantooth and he said no, i asked why he replied all the boys liked her and then I asked have she ever said anything to you and he replied no and said "I just never bothered with her." He said he did his work and that's it. I am very upset about this we send our kids to learn not to be harrassed by their teachers. I hope she gets what she deserves. As far as I am concerned she is nasty how do you even begin to think about having relations with a child.