School social worker sent thousands of texts to female students

May 17, 2011

Former Roseville high school social worker Steven Bloom was sentenced today to one year of probation for sending inappropriate text messages to a female student.

In the messages, Bloom, 56, of St. Paul questioned the girl about her menstrual periods, he admitted when he pleaded guilty April 1 to disorderly conduct.

"Mr. Bloom honorably served the Roseville Area High School for 30 years as a social worker," said his attorney, Sarah MacGillis, after the hearing. "As such, he dealt with students who had a lot of problems," including those involving pregnancy or a high risk of pregnancy. "And that's the context in which these communications arose."

Ramsey County District Judge Thomas Mott stayed adjudication of the charge, meaning Bloom was technically not convicted, and the charge will be vacated if he completes probation, Bloom's attorney said.

Mott also ordered Bloom to serve two days in jail, which he completely previously. Bloom must continue with therapy and address "these issues appropriately, (so) that you not drop the ball," Mott said.

In addition, the judge ordered Bloom to abide by his agreement with the state social work licensing board that he not practice social work. He was a licensed independent clinical social worker.

Bloom resigned from the school district in March 2010 after police got a search warrant for his office.

Two other charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Those involved allegations that Bloom bought

lingerie for a former student and sent many more girls messages about their reproductive health.

A police review of his cell phone records disclosed that he sent 8,784 messages to seven girls in the course of one year, according to a criminal complaint.

In the case in which he pleaded guilty, a 10th-grade girl told police that Bloom had been her counselor at Roseville Area High School for almost two years, and that he began texting her in the spring of 2009, the criminal complaint said.

The girl did not return the messages at first, later telling Bloom not to text but to talk with her in person, the complaint said.

"(She) estimated that much of their conversations were about feminine health issues. (She) told defendant she was not comfortable talking about her feminine health issues," the complaint said.

Bloom texted her about 50 times a month.

Police found that one 15-year-old received 3,190 text messages from Bloom over nine months, averaging about a dozen a day, according to the complaint that was dismissed.

Interviews with other students disclosed that Bloom had supplied them with tampons, pads, gift cards, prepaid cell phone minutes and ibuprofen.

Bloom's attorney said his conduct "crossed a boundary in communication only," and that he was never physically inappropriate with any student.

Source: Emily Gurnon, "Roseville school ex-counselor gets year's probation for texting student about menstrual periods," St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 16, 2011.


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