BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — A Pender County teacher accused of cyberstalking an eighth grade student pleaded guilty today.
As WWAY was the only Wilmington TV station to report last month, Megan Mantooth, a math teacher at Burgaw Middle School, was suspended and charged with cyberstalking after reportedly sending hundreds of inappropriate text messages to a 13-year-old boy. Today, she said she was sorry.
Mantooth, 26, wrote a statement admitting that what she did was wrong and asking for forgiveness. Though she admitted her guilt, Mantooth signed a plea deal allowing her trial to be put off for three years.
“I’m glad,” the victim’s mother Elizabeth Graham said. “It sounds like she’s finally taking the initiative for what she did.”
Pender County Schools suspended Mantooth with pay last month after Graham, the mother of one of mantooth’s students, filed a report saying the teacher sent more than 200 inappropriate text messages to her son
“She definitely acted inappropriately, and I hope that she truly understands that this was her doing,” Graham said.
“I am deeply, terribly sorry for the pain and anguish I have caused,” Mantooth wrote. “I myself am in complete and total shock that this situation went as far as it did. I knew better than to do what I was doing. There are no excuses for my actions, and I sincerely regret them. I apologize to everyone involved in the situation. I promise that I will never do anything like this again. I am deeply ashamed of what has happened – I knew lines had been crossed and said things that should never have been said. I implore you for your forgiveness.”
Mantooth’s plea deal requires her to attend regular counseling sessions during the three years before her trial date. She is also not allowed to work with kids or teach during that time. Graham says her son is still dealing with what happened.
“One minute he seems OK. The next he’s a little upset,” Graham said. “He’s trying to handle it the best way that a 13-year-old can.”
The Grahams say they want parents to pay close attention to the relationship their children have with teachers.
“Most people don’t really view their teachers as a threat, and I think if we hadn’t responded the way that we did and found it as soon as we did, who knows where it could have went?” the boy’s father Lynwood Graham said.
Mantooth will also have three years of probation according to her plea deal.
We tried to talk with Mantooth, but her attorney said Mantooth did not want to talk.
Despite what other media outlets are reporting, Mantooth’s attorney told us she never used post-partum depression as a defense for what she did.