A volunteer working with a Johnson County school district was recently revealed to be a convicted prostitute, raising concerns about the background check process used by officials to screen those coming into contact with students.
Whistleblowers revealed earlier this week that Ashley Ketcherside, a Godley ISD parent and an active member of several committees, has a criminal history of prostitution. The district’s background check apparently did not return records of her two misdemeanor convictions for selling sex in 2012 and 2016.
“We rely primarily on the Texas Department of Public Safety for providing background information on these citizens. Those reports are not always perfect,” Godley ISD wrote in an email to parents discussing the matter, according to Fox 4 KDFW.
For many, the incident has called into question the protocol behind such background screenings, which leave out misdemeanor offenses.
“We do feel like there are a lot of changes that need to happen at the state level as well as at the local level,” said Mary Lowe, one of the whistleblowers who works with the nonprofit Families Engaged for Effective Education, per Fox 4.
Ketcherside, who reportedly joined Godley ISD this year, previously served on the School Health Advisory Council, the Family and Community Engagement Committee, the Parent Teacher Organization, and the Godley Athletic Booster Club. She also runs an unofficial cheerleading group. Michael Ketcherside, her husband, is also an active volunteer, serving in a fathers’ group called the Watch Dogs and the Booster Club.
While the Ketchersides have not yet commented on the revelations, some district parents and officials reported being quite surprised.
“We had no idea what was going on in her personal life. She was always very friendly and personable,” said Kayla Lain, Godley ISD trustee.
Sleuthing on Ketcherside’s past began when some parents raised concerns over comments she allegedly made about owning several enterprises. Alongside her criminal history, active escort listings for Ketcherside were allegedly found under the name “Lola Brea.”
“I googled her email address and that’s how I was able to find the escort services,” explained Lain, per Fox 4.
Godley ISD Superintendent Rich Dear assured parents that the district would strive to improve its background check process.
“We’re talking about it with other districts, reaching out and seeing what other people do, too,” said Dear, per Fox 4.
Prostitution has been a growing problem in Dallas, especially in the northwest, where business owners and locals recently lamented the persistence of the illicit activity, as covered in The Dallas Express.
According to the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard, 433 prostitution offenses had been logged by the Dallas Police Department this year as of November 28. This represents a 174% increase from the same period last year.