Parents Reflect on Howell Sex Abuse Sentence - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Parents Reflect on Howell Sex Abuse Sentence

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Richard L. Howell II worked at Caesar Rodney High School as a teacher and wrestling coach at the time of his relationship with the student. (Photo: WBOC) Richard L. Howell II worked at Caesar Rodney High School as a teacher and wrestling coach at the time of his relationship with the student. (Photo: WBOC)
Richard L. Howell II Richard L. Howell II

DOVER, Del.- Parents reacted Thursday to Richard L. Howell II's sentencing at Kent County Superior Court.

The 52-year-old former Caesar Rodney High School teacher and coach was sentenced to seven years, six months in prison for sexually abusing a female student, according to Kent County Superior Court documents accessible at the courthouse.

Mr. Elliot has two kids, both of whom are 6-years-old. He says they will be in high school before he knows it, so he talks to them now about best ways to communicate if something is wrong.

"If you speak to your children at a younger age and let them know that it's okay to speak about things and not hold [them] in, then a lot of issues and problems can be resolved," he said.

He says it certainly is all about communication and counting on good teachers to notice problems with your kids in school.

"If a teacher does spend more time noticing a situation or noticing a child has a problem, [they can] address it with a parent or the guidance counselor," he said. "Maybe they can get to the situation or get to the child at a sooner time."

There have certainly been a good amount of teacher-student sexual relationships on Delmarva. To name a couple, a 22-year-old teacher also from Caesar Rodney School District pleaded guilty to sex with a 13-year-old student back in 2014.

Steven Mark Higgins, a former Wicomico County teacher, pleaded guilty to sex with a student both on and off campus in 2012.

Rosie lives in Wyoming, Del. She says she has always kept her children close.

"If you can, keep them within the home setting," she suggested. "Let your associates or your friends and the family members take care of them"

As for Howell's situation, he was sentenced under rape and child sex abuse charges. His sentencing hearing happened at 9 a.m. Thursday. The judge also ordered Howell to stay away from the victim and anyone under the age of 18. Howell is to undergo mental and sexual disorder evaluations.

"He should have [gotten] a little more than seven years," said Mr. Elliot. "Who's to say what's going through that student's head right now? You don't know how that teacher had that student feeling that it was okay to do what you were doing."

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