The Godley, Texas, school district removed a woman appointed to assist with deciding things like age-appropriate material for sex education after learning she was a convicted prostitute.
FOX 4 in Dallas reported that the woman, identified as Ashley Ketcherside, also advertises online as an escort, with one site listing one of her personas as active last month.
While the idea of having a convicted prostitute work for a school district may have some scratching their heads, the issue raises concerns for others about background checks in the Godley Independent School District (ISD) and across the state.
“We had no idea what was going on in her personal life. She was always very friendly and personable,” Godley ISD School Board trustee Kayla Lain told the station.
Mary Lowe of the nonprofit group Families Engaged for Effective Education commented on Ketcherside being a convicted prostitute and working on a council that recommends “appropriate grade levels and methods for human sexuality instruction” within the district.
“I don’t see any community wanting that to be the standard for their school district,” she said.
Ketcherside served on a School Health Advisory Council (SHAC), which the state requires by law for school districts to have. The councils are in place to provide recommendations to school boards on a wide range of health education protocols for students, like “appropriate grade levels and curriculum for instruction regarding […] sex trafficking.”
Lain told the station that she was made aware of Ketcherside’s history of prostitution by Lowe and the nonprofit of which Lowe is a member.
Ketcherside can be seen in a Godley ISD YouTube video of the council’s first meeting of the year in October. In the minutes, she is listed as a committee member; members are appointed to the council by the school board, a district spokesperson said.
The same spokesperson said Ketcherside’s family joined the district this year, and she was appointed to the Long-Range Facility Planning Committee by Godley ISD Superintendent Rich Dear.
Ketcherside also reportedly served as a volunteer on the Family and Community Engagement Committee, Parent Teacher Organization and Godley Athletic Booster Club, on which her husband also serves. In addition to those groups, Ashley Ketcherside also leads a local cheerleading group, Godley ISD noted.
Lowe told FOX 4 that parents started to become suspicious of Ketcherside after she claimed to own multiple businesses, though information about the businesses could not be located.
Out of suspicion, Lowe said, parents started to investigate Ketcherside’s background and learned from a LexisNexis search that one of her email addresses matched the same email address as “Lola Brea” on an escort site.
The station obtained court records from Tarrant County that revealed Ashley Ketcherside, whose birth name is Ashley Villalobos, was convicted of prostitution in 2012 and 2016, and an affidavit claims she is “also known as Lola Brea.”
According to one escort site that advertises Lola Brea, she was active last month and has client reviews from this year and dating back a decade.
It should be noted, escort sites are completely legal in Texas, and theoretically, escorts are charging for companionship and time. But as soon as money is exchanged for sex, the act becomes prostitution.
In another matter, a judge in 2016 signed an injunction not permitting specific children to visit “any place of Ashley Villalobos’ residence” due to her being a “known prostitute.”
Because of the investigation’s findings, Godley ISD told FOX 4 they notified “the parent” that they can no longer serve on district committees or in other volunteer capacities, effective immediately.
But when asked if background checks were required for any of the positions Ketcherside served in, the district replied, “Yes.”
“Obviously, the district would not knowingly allow anyone to work in a staff position or to volunteer with certain criminal convictions in their background,” the district told FOX 4.
Lowe also said the convictions would not show up in a background check because they were misdemeanors. She added that the state needs to look at this with regard to how people are screened when participating in schools.
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