Mother frustrated charges haven’t been filed against former FPS staff member for inappropriate video

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A mother is speaking out tonight, frustrated officials haven’t filed formal charges against a former school staff member for an incident involving her 14-year-old son.

It’s a story we first broke in January when Fargo Public School documents show Ruthie Carlson was fired as Ben Franklin Middle School’s lunch supervisor due to inappropriate conduct with a student that was captured and posted on social media.

Shenita Esaw says she remembers the December phone call from FPS officials like it was yesterday.

“(The principal) said, ‘Shenita, out of my whole practice, I have never dealt with this in my whole entire life,’” Esaw recalled.

Esaw says she was told a Snapchat video had come to officials’ attention which showed Esaw’s 14-year-old son, wearing only boxers, brushing his teeth next to Carlson, who Esaw says was in a t-shirt and no pants.

“And it said, ‘Good morning, p******,’” Esaw said.

Carlson’s termination letter states she originally denied knowing about the snapchat video, but later admitted the opposite.

“This lady has manipulated my son,” Esaw said.

Carlson was fired in December and reports were then forwarded to the Fargo Police Department who state officers forwarded their findings to the Cass County State’s Attorney’s office ‘several weeks ago.’ However, official charges haven’t been filed, which Esaw says is making her lose faith in the justice system.

“This happened in November, ma’am. This is May. Are you kidding me?” Esaw said as she shook her head. “If it was a white little girl and a black man, where do you think this would have went?”

Esaw says the trauma Carlson has brought to both her son and her family is insurmountable, and she says she worries her son will never be the same.

“It doesn’t matter, boy or girl, it just doesn’t matter,” she cried.

She says she vows to continue to be a voice for her son, and won’t stop until the wheels of justice turn in her favor.

The Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office says it has been working with law enforcement on the case, and state at this stage, the investigation is continuing and it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.

We reached out to Carlson for comment, but have not heard back.

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