KIMT-TV



Barrus Speaks Out

August 5, 2010

MASON CITY, IA - On July 30, 2010, it took a jury 20 minutes to decide Belmond Klemme teacher Jodi Lynn Barrus' fate.

With a verdict of not guilty she is now speaking out about the accusations leveled against her by a former student and how it was handled.

“They came to my classroom and just made the assumption that I had sexual relations with a student.".

The investigation of Jodi Lynn Barrus started this past March. An 18 year old student, who was known to cause trouble in Barrus's class, accused her of having a sexual relationship with him.

"Teachers now days are scared to be teachers, because if you fail a kid, if you send a kid to the office if you reject a kid…how easy is it for them to do what they just did to me."

Jodi Barrus
Jodi Barrus
She says the student made it all up. The sexual encounters, the description of her house and her physical characteristics.

The four texts that Barrus did send to the student coincide with snow day school cancellations. So why did the so called "victim" make it up?

“He obviously had some type of infatuation, he thought I’d go to the prom with him and when I said absolutely not I think he got very hurt and very angry and honestly the lie just got bigger and bigger."

When she turned herself in Barrus was trying to protect her kids. She didn't want officers to come to the house.

But it didn't matter, that night her four children found out what was happening.

"When they saw me [on TV] it was very scary for them because they said sexual exploitation and of course to an 11 year old when you say “sex” it's something serious."

According to her, the student told other teachers he was having a relationship with Barrus. Those teachers never turned Barrus in.

"I think if they would have reported it immediately the Sheriff’s Department could have gotten the texts and seen it was nothing, it was ‘yes school is cancelled’."

Her kids spent months being teased in school, but they are still supporting their mother

"Our oldest daughter said 'mom, this is completely crazy you never would have done this." The rest of her family also stayed with her. But more importantly her husband never doubted his wife's innocence

"He’s definitely been my rock; he this big muscular guy and I love him for being that type of person. But he knew I did nothing wrong, he knew from the very beginning."

When it comes to the young man who put her and her family through this ordeal with his lies, she says she isn't quite ready yet to forgive.

"At this point right now, can i forgive him? No, because I can't come to grounds with why in the beginning he didn't say I lied, I’m sorry I lied."

She plans on staying in Belmond and hopes the new superintendent will keep her on as a teacher.

Barrus tells us after paying $30 thousand for legal costs, and a severe blow to her reputation, it will be tough for her and family to get their life back. But they'll try

"For my family to get back to a normal life, that's what I need."


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