There is new information on former Williston Middle School teacher Jessica Wishnask.
Wishnask was arrested early Saturday morning after police found her in the back seat of a car with a fifteen-year-old boy. Sources tell us the boy was a student at Williston.
County officials would only confirm that Jessica Wishnask had been suspended twice, while working there. One Williston student who had Jessica Wishnask for a teacher told us he saw her hanging around with one particular student during recess and breaks.
He spoke with us, with his parent’s permission. “Yeah, he would come into her room, and talk to her in the hallways.”
Other than that, Ms. Wishnask was known as the popular teacher at Williston despite the fact she had been suspended twice while teaching there. “She would let us use our phones during class, and let us drink drinks and stuff.”
Over the weekend, Wishnask was charged with indecent liberties with a child. The fifteen-year-old boy she was found with was a student at Williston while Wishnask taught there.
District Attorney Ben David said her charges could become more severe simply because the child is a minor. “All we have to prove is that the child was under the age of 16 at the time of the contact, and if there was sexual activity involved during the crime per se, regardless of the issue of consent, regardless about confusion about a date of birth.”
After leaving Williston, Wishnask was hired by Pitt County schools.
On a form a Williston supervisor had to fill out before Pitt hired Wishnask, question six asked ‘Would you re-hire this candidate in your school system or organization?’.
Pitt County school officials say the supervisor answered ‘yes’ to this question.
According to their policy, Wishnask wouldn’t have been hired in Pitt County, if this question has been answered ‘no’.
Ms. Wishnask didn’t have a bad reputation while she was at Williston, according to one student, which may be why students and teachers were shocked to hear what happened.
The student WWAY spoke with said, “I didn’t think she would do that, but she was always hanging around kids.”
Regardless of whether the teen consented to sexual acts with Ms. Wishnask, the 15-year-old in this case, is being treated as a victim.
“Anyone can be a predator, most people think of it as a man who is older than the victim, but sometimes it is women,” Ben David added. David also told us if Ms. Wishnask had used her position of power or authority to gain access to the victim, which could mean more serious punishment.