The student from the letter almost four years ago: what I wrote in my letter and why I wrote it

The student from the letter almost four years ago: what I wrote in my letter and why I wrote it

Amber Elliott, October 22, 2018

My name is Amber Elliott and I am the student who wrote the letter that called to attention Kristin Bantle’s behavior in the school system four years ago. Her behavior was totally unprofessional and, quite frankly, disgusting when she spoke to our freshman civics class after our teacher left the room. Instead of learning about the Fourth Amendment, which was the intent of her being in our class, she told stories about her wildest cases and calls. We were subjected to listening to sexually explicit stories and about other things that are far, far too inappropriate for a class of freshman to hear, things that I still would not care to hear today.

As I originally stated in my letter from my freshman year, “I felt she was not there to teach but to tell stories that no one wanted to hear.” I knew that her behavior was completely inappropriate based on the ethics that I was raised with. I was taught from a young age to not be a bystander, and that if I see something wrong, I need to do something about it. The act of writing a letter to report something wrong is not out of character for me. In 6th grade I stepped forward with a report of a drug deal that I witnessed in Butcherknife Canyon, walking home from school. When something is not okay, it deserves to be brought to light.

Reporting Kristin Bantle’s vulgar behavior is something that I still stand by. And, today, it is further diminishing to my reputation for her to discredit my testimony, when it had been verified by many other students and in investigation. It astonishes me how hypocritical it is of her to try and claim that she is being maliciously attacked for being the “whistleblower” on a hostile work environment, and that her campaign is based on the ideology that we must protect the “whistleblower,” when she is in fact questioning my integrity and my intentions for bringing to light her misconduct in the classroom, rather than owning or taking responsibility for her actions.

After I stepped forward with my letter, an investigation was launched and conducted by a member of the Steamboat Springs Police Department. More than 20 students in that class backed up my story. They did not write letters – they too were disgusted and uncomfortable with the stories Bantle told – and no one wanted to re-tell her stories of drug busts with sex toys or dead bodies that she told with explicit words and harsh descriptions. Kristin Bantle’s discussion in my classroom was highly upsetting and disturbing, and she should not be allowed to speak in a classroom.

Again, I am reiterating what happened four years ago, and want to object to the attacks on my character for telling my story.

See Amber’s original letter here, also below:

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