Former teacher and sexting champion sentenced for sending 4,300 text messages to students

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A former long-term substitute teacher in central Pennsylvania’s Shamokin Area School District has set what may well be a world record for student sexting — and he’s got quite a bit of competition.

Michael S. Zack, 24, now appears to own the dubious honor, reports the News-Item. Zack was charged with sending some 4,300 text messages to four teenage girls (two 17-year-olds and two 16-year-olds) who were students at Shamokin Area High School between March 15 and Oct. 30, 2011.

While all of the messages were not sexually graphic in nature, according the News-Item, many of them were.

So, let’s do the math here. Zack sent 4,300 text messages during the time frame, which totaled 230 days. On average, then, he sent almost 19 texts per day. If he distributed the messages evenly among the four girls, he would have sent between four and five texts to each girl, every single day for more than half a year.

Zack pleaded guilty to unlawful contact with a minor — a felony — as well as the misdemeanor charge of corruption of minors. Judge Robert B. Sacavage sentenced him to three years of intermediate punishment (including six months of house arrest) and two years of probation. Zack must also stay away from underage girls.

The former substitute teacher was an all-around great guy, apparently, except for the incessant sexting of high school students, and had a clean criminal record before his arrest. He had been a good student, a football star at a nearby Catholic high school, a volunteer firefighter and a Salvation Army volunteer.

As it happens, he is also the nephew of local school district superintendent, James T. Zack.

During his sentencing hearing, the News-Item says, Zack claimed that the number of sexually explicit text messages had been overstated. He also maintained that he was not the “aggressor” in the crimes to which he pleaded guilty.

At one point in the proceedings, Zack seemed to argue with the judge, who quickly became cheesed off.

“Are you trying to tell me this is normal activity for a 24-year-old school teacher?” the judge asked, according to the News-Times.

“No, your honor,” Zack answered.

News stories about teachers who send creepy text messages to students are so ubiquitous that they usually aren’t much more than local news.

Just last week, reports WPVI, a 36-year-old Delaware teacher, Stanley Zakrociemski, was charged with sending sexually inappropriate text messages to a 17-year-old female student.

In January, 44-year-old middle school teacher Bryan Tyman was charged for allegedly sending a sexually explicit photo to a trio of teen girls, reports The Times of Northwest Indiana. Also in January, a 37-year-old high school science teacher in Pennsylvania, Joseph Rubino, allegedly sent sexually suggestive texts to a female student. CBS Pittsburgh has that story.

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