“If only you were 18.”
That’s one of the sexually suggestive social media messages Norristown Area School Board President Shae Ashe allegedly sent a 17-year-old female student last year, the girl’s social media shows.
“It made me sick to my stomach,” the student’s mother, Dana, told Delaware Valley Journal, which is withholding her last name at her request to protect her daughter.
DVJournal has reviewed a dozen or so social media messages from the married, 30-year-old school official to the then-17-year-old girl, each containing varying levels of sexual suggestion and inappropriate content. Several suggested the underage girl meet Ashe.
“U wanna chill and do something?” is a common refrain from Ashe.
Dana says she was sitting on her porch in East Norriton one evening about a month ago with her daughter, a friend, and a neighbor. The conversation turned to social media and how young women need to be careful.
Dana says her daughter showed the neighbor, whose daughter is the same age, posts to her Instagram account from the Ashe.
Ashe, who graduated from Norristown High and followed in his mother’s footsteps by running for the school board, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
The sexually suggestive posts, including multiple emoji images suggesting sexual attraction on Ashe’s part. began when her daughter was a senior at Norristown High School and 17 years old. Some are dated last November while others are as recent as this July.
Dana says she was shocked by the messages she saw. Her daughter told her she didn’t tell her about the posts because Dana had been ill from COVID-19, in a hospital and on a ventilator for part of the time, and she didn’t want to upset her, Dana said.
The girl, who was a senior when the posts began, was involved in extracurricular activities. She told her mother she was concerned that if she reported Ashe to anyone, he could have her thrown off the team she was on.
Ashe “has the power like that,” said Dana. “There’s nobody else above him. He’s the board president.”
“It made me sick to my stomach, like for him to say, ‘If only you were 18,’” said Dana. He also offered to pay for the girl to get her nails done, saying, “What do I get in return?”
“She was 17 and he was preying on her,” said Dana. “Who does stuff like that? Because she’s 17 and you’re the school board president?”
“Thank God she was smart enough not to go meet him,” said Dana.
Ashe continued to send the young woman messages on Instagram through the summer, even offering her a job, Dana said, but he finally gave up when she refused to meet him.
Dana insisted that her daughter file a police report.
“Even the police officer that came here is like, ‘My kids are in North Penn School District. That wouldn’t be going on in my district.’” Ashe is “supposed to be protecting these kids. He’s messaging with a female, 17 years old. It makes me sick to my stomach.”
Meanwhile, Dana said, the case has been turned over to District Attorney Kevin Steele’s office for investigation and she and her daughter are awaiting the results.
Norristown Area School District officials also did not respond to a request for comment.
Linda Stein is News Editor at Delaware Valley Journal.
This article was republished with permission from Delaware Valley Journal.