“Get Rid Of An Evil Tick”: Florida Teacher Accused Of Cutting And Burning Students in Religious Rite

Police in St. Petersburg, Florida, have arrested a popular teacher in a bizarre alleged crime. Danielle Harkins, 35, is accused of telling students that they have demons inside them and that the only way to be rid of them is to cut themselves and then burn the wounds. They proceeded to do so and she is now charged with child abuse.

Police allege that Harkins met six boys and one girl in a park near the St. Petersburg Pier where they built a fire and started to chant and dance around it. She then allegedly started the cutting and burning. In one case, she is accused of pouring perfume on a kid when the lighter went out in the wind and then lighting the perfume on fire. He suffered second degree burns. Harkins was a teacher at the Lealman Asian Neighborhood Family Center. She is recently divorced in June and has two children, a four-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son. (I am going to go out on the limb and predict that the ex-husband is likely to have no problem on custody in the future).

She is reportedly as having taken a recent interest in extreme religions and referred to this process as how to “get rid of an evil tick.”

If convicted without a plea agreement, sentencing could be particularly harsh given her position of authority.

Source: Daily Mail

61 thoughts on ““Get Rid Of An Evil Tick”: Florida Teacher Accused Of Cutting And Burning Students in Religious Rite”

  1. He knew I was short because my voice was coming to him from about 4’6″ off the ground, and he could hear it. He’s a musician, quite a fine musician. So I’m about 5’2″ and my voice emanates from my mouth and he figured it out.

    Actually I quite liked Felliciano but that wasn’t a great way to set up a rendez-vous, if you know what I mean. Especially back then in the early 70s. And had he been sighted, he would have noticed that whereas the other waitresses wore purple velvet hotpants, pink satin blouses and 4″ spike heels, I was still in the black uniform and white tea-apron from the formal dining room, rather than the bar area. (I pinch hit for all sorts of jobs in that hotel including secretary, daytime, to the executive manager, who was about as short as I was but who suffered from Napolean Complex.)

  2. Maisha,

    Good answer. When they’re blind, their other sensory elements are more attenuated (perhaps).

    So, how did he know you were short?

    My vision isn’t 20/20 with the spectacles off. But it is with the spectacles on.

  3. Matt J, either I’d have to have seen a lot of movies to understand you or else, a bit more likely IMO, it’s just plain impossible for me to understand you.

    IN my past I have been a waitress, and here’s a story from that time. Maybe about 1970 or so. I’m waiting table at the Hotel St. Regis in Detroit and that hotel gets all the entertainment entourages who come through town. So Jose Felliciano and his group were at the corner round table in the “bar” area and I had that table. At the end of the night the tab was probably $200 (which was real money at that time) and he put it on his room charge of course. When I got them their last round of whatever it was, he addresssed me [remember he’s blind]:

    “Malisha, you’re kind of a short broad, aren’t you?”

    I agreed.

    He asked, “Know how I know?”

    I said, “from where my voice comes to you from.”

    He said, “Right. Do you want to come up to my room tonight?”

    I said, “I”m not that short.”

  4. Malisha,

    Are you a waitress? I saw a movie one time where a waitress asked some guy if he needed someplace to sleep.


  5. Yeah, what Woosty said. Furthermore, you are a real party in interest in a relationship between you and other real mortals. You’re not “faced off” against an unpredictable diety, you’re in a fluid relationship with a real person, be he good, bad or indifferent. So not only CAN you trust but at times, you really HAVE to trust, or nothing happens. Not even nourishment by means of turnips happens if you trust nobody and nothing.

    So let’s say you are a real party in interest in that relationship between yourself and others.

    OK, I’m going on a tangent/detour for a moment.

    In Judaism, there is a custom taught to me by a Rabbi in the 1950s, and he was quite a scholar (physicist and Rabbi). He taught that before you could go to god for forgiveness on Yom Kippur (the day of atonement), you had to check in with people you might have transgressed against and make amends with those people FIRST. Then when you asked for divine forgiveness, you had essentially “done your homework first,” so you could be entitled to ask for a clean slate.

    So the week or so before Yom Kippur was supposed to be a tough week, with real approaches to people in your family and your circle, to find out how badly you had screwed up during the past year. No “free cards.”

    I asked, “Well God’s supposed to be all-knowing? Doesn’t God already KNOW what I have done during my last year that needs forgiveness?”

    He said, “It’s not important for God to know; it’s important for YOU TO KNOW.”

    Looking back at that, I realized that the faith people (not I) were putting in god was supposed to actually just be a symbolic faith that mirrored the faith they were putting in other people and themselves.

    Now, when I look at the way some people are obsessed with their relationships with “god,” I see it — perhaps I should say I “view it” because it really can never come through clearly to me — as an attempt on their part to reconstruct the very shaky faith they have in each other and themselves.

    WHY the preacher from the South (forgot where) has to rail against homosexuals to assure himself of his godliness.

    WHY the ultra-Orthodox fanatics from Brooklyn have to practice ostracism and social control to such a bizarre and hideous degree to make themselves “clean enough” to seem holy.

    Why the Muslim clerics have to come up with the wacko explanations of the conduct of Satan and his evil human subjects.

    WHY WHY WHY all that psycho-pseudo bullshit happens. And also, why the line between the hyper-religiosity and the extremism of a woman like this teacher are inseparable. It is not the belief itself (the religious aspect of her thought disorders and emotional disturbances) that is crazy. SHE IS CRAZY because she cannot even trust herself or those around her to carry out normal life within an imperfect (ungodly) system.

  6. Both are not to be trusted.
    neither is perfect but trust is a requirement to freedom. If you are not capable of trusting then you are a slave. If you break trust….you are less than that.

  7. Back to the teacher and the students and the “evil tick,” I really think a good defense counsel has an interesting case here. It has often piqued my interest to note that now and then a female teacher (usually nice looking and in her 30’s at the oldest) gets nailed for sexual abuse of students when the complaining witness is a teen-aged boy and even when there is a sort of weird thing going on indicating signs of “real love relationship” which is, of course, impossible, considering the dynamic. It does, however, hold more interest for the press than the male priest or coach or teacher “involved sexually” with a teen-aged girl. It almost comes to seem an item of great social import even though it’s essentially a “man bites dog” story.

    But the female teacher (nice looking, apparently) doing something as obviously nuts as this, with a group of students, with NO SUGGESTION THAT SHE WANTED IT TO BE A DEEP DARK SECRET, and with the clear suggestion that her motivation was to TEACH SOMETHING TO THEM — way outside her approved curriculum — is not even a “man bites dog” story. It’s a “spaceman eates the face off the loch ness monster in broad daylight in Florida” story.

    I’m no psychiatrist; I’m no professional; I’m not going to get into a “relative stupidity and/or comparative ignorance” battle with Doctor Bob or anyone else (I HOPE) but I believe this woman must be significantly mentally and emotionally impaired. If her defense counsel doesn’t try to get her an NCR on this one, there’s going to be a clear violation of the Sixth Amendment on that count, IMHO.

  8. ID707,

    Religion is a compact between you and what you call God.
    Government is one between you and your fellow men.

    Both are not to be trusted.
    Most specific. I have to agree.

  9. pete
    1, June 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm
    hahahahahahaha! that was good….

    I must say though, as an RN I was very lucky in that I never met a Dr. that was so
    arrogant as to bandy such weighted medical terms on people they had never seen…most were responsible enough to know how such inadvertant mental turding could cause and inflict real damage on real people.
    Shizo is a term that can be tossed about by kids and morons without much feet but when professionals use it…some one could very well take them seriously.

    Ego check please….

  10. Wiccan gone wild…… A new reality show out of St. Petersburg……

  11. I had composed a little morning greeting to DOC_BOB. It was superfluous, as others had demolished him after I went to bed.

    I must give DOC one thing, I have met many doctors,
    both cardiologists and psychiatrists—but never have I med one so stupid as him. (That was not a complete list of specialties, but the relevant ones for now.)

    Religion is a compact between you and what you call God.
    Government is one between you and your fellow men.

    Both are not to be trusted.

  12. G’night OS. May your sleep be restful and restorative. I know that can be a tall order with a cracked rib, but I’m sending all the good karma I can muster in your direction.

  13. LK,

    That is kind of what I was thinking that there must have been some other dynamic in play that made the kids more susceptible to predation. The Lealman Asian Neighborhood Family Center, based on their website, seems an unlikely source for such a dynamic. They appear to be a rather traditional, state funded, secular rec and learning center offering tutoring services, adult and general literacy programs and entertainment events for kids during off school hours. Church was my first thought as it was a group and the chances of it being home based and the same for a group just doesn’t favor the odds, but it could be some other mass social influence.

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