Is a Colorado Teacher Who Had Sex with a Student Skirting Punishment?

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," January 3, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Welcome back to “Hannity & Colmes”. As we continue with our weeklong look into the teachers who are seducing underage children.

Twenty-nine-year-old Colorado teacher Carrie McCandless was arrested in November of 2006 for having a sexual affair with a 17-year-old student.

The social studies teacher allegedly had sexual contact with the boy while on an overnight school camping trip. McCandless, who also is the wife of the school principal, remains free on $20,000 bail while awaiting trial for sexual assault on a child.

Joining us now, reporter Chris Barge of The Rocky Mountain News.

Chris, can you fill in the details here, and why is this happening?

CHRIS BARGE, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS: Well, Sir, Carrie McCandless, police say she actually carried on a relationship about a month long prior to this camping trip with a student who is 17-years-old at the school. She has since been fired.

But they say that, yes, she carried on inappropriate relationship that included the exchange of text messages — 76 text messages in one day alone. And she is in the process of being adjudicated.

COLMES: You know, we talked in the last segment about the responsibility of adults toward children. There's another angle here which is the school board chairman, as you've reported, David Munday Sr., has been tampering with at least three witnesses who are victims and not reporting child abuse here.

Tell us about that angle to the story.

BARGE: Yes. There's a big cast of characters in this story. He was the school board president, and police say that he caught wind of the situation days before he actually went to the cops. And the police had to approach him after getting a tip from a news reporter that something was up.

And so he now is being put through the system on charges that he both tampered with witnesses and that he failed to report a suspected sexual assault.

COLMES: And isn't his son up on charges?

BARGE: That's another wrinkle to the story. Next week not only is he to be in court on Wednesday for the next hearing in his procedure, but the next day, after that next Thursday, his son, David Mundy Jr., is to be sentenced.

Police and the D.A. say that a year ago, around Christmas Eve of 2005, he lured a child who he had taught at Brighton Charter High School as a substitute teacher, along with her sister and another friend, over to his apartment and tried to have sex with them.

COLMES: What's with the drinking water in that community? What's going on? I mean, is there outrage on the part of the community? And where is the accountability?

BARGE: You know, this is an interesting case because it is a charter school, and those tend to be more tight-knit, close communities.

The school — parents were mostly outraged over being kept in the dark so long when this last thing broke. And they largely were unaware, also, of David Mundy's son. And you know, how he was being adjudicated for something that happened right under their noses without them knowing about it.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: What's up with the principal and the girl now? Are they divorced?

BARGE: Oh, well, last I saw they're both wearing their wedding rings. You know, fair question. He's still head of that ship. And, you know, it's by all appearances, it's a school on the rise. They are under construction with a school that's got the potential to triple their enrollment capacity come next fall.

HANNITY: You know what? I guess something I just can't figure out is was this happening for a long time, Chris, and we just didn't know about it? It seems now it's a growing phenomenon.

You have these attractive, good-looking teachers having — female teachers — having sex with these young students. And it's almost in every single case they seem to be getting away with it. It seems to be a huge double standard.

What — have you been reporting on all the different cases, the Debra LaFave case and onwards?

BARGE: No. I have not become the teacher sex scandal reporter on a national level as of yet. Just been focused on this story outside of Denver.

HANNITY: Well, but there's certainly something to this, though.

BARGE: There seems to be a lot of them in the news.

HANNITY: There's certainly something. It's spectacular inasmuch as there is case after case after case. You don't find that worthy of some type of coverage? Why is this happening?

BARGE: Well, you're on the national scene. I charge you with that task.

HANNITY: All right. That's my job as the — well, that's actually part of what we're doing this week. It's only because, in each and every case — we even had a case we were doing on the program last night. And the judge in the case said that if this were a male teacher and a 17-year- old girl, that that male would be in jail. And, yet, these female teachers, it seems to be if you're attractive, you're blonde, if you're good looking and it's a girl versus — a female teacher — you get away with it. That seems to be.

BARGES: I will leave that — I'll leave that to the pundits to duke it out over, you know, the justice or lack thereof there.

But, yes, I think you do have definitely a whole lot of dynamics. You know, merely one of which is that, you know, when the roles are reversed, you know, it comes out different in the wash.

HANNITY: I think that's a pretty significant point here. I guess we'll be watching. When is it back in court, the 22nd or so?

BARGE: Let's see, everybody is in court this month. Yes, Carrie McCandless, the central person here, is back in court on the 22nd.

HANNITY: All right. We'll be watching.

COLMES: Chris, we thank you very much for joining us tonight.

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