Richard Julien was a 47-year-old history teacher in Minnesota. He had been working at his school for nearly two years.
The students and staff adored Richard, however, he was known for his peculiar habits. Those habits would eventually arouse concerns among his peers.
He tended to keep to himself and never invited his fellow co-workers over to his house. Richard also rarely spoke about his life outside the school.
Some others claimed he exuded an unique energy that made him stand out from the crowd. His aura was even described as spooky by some. But were they correct in their assessment?
The reality is that there was nothing to back up their accusations on the surface. When one spoke with Julien, he came across as a pleasant, mild-mannered gentleman, however he was always aloof and impersonal.
Perhaps his demeanor and prudence led others to believe he was putting on a show. Perhaps he was concealing something with his actions.
However, as previously stated, he appeared to be impeachable in every way. He was never late for work, his students always excelled and were enthusiastic about his course, and he never had a disagreement with any of the staff members.
All in all, it’s difficult to have any issues with a man who, like Julien, prefers to keep to himself and goes around hoping to go undetected. However, it’s possible that this was a premeditated act.
After getting to know Julien for a while, the possibility that he might be attempting to keep things hidden naturally came to mind.
The man was quite quiet and pleasant, and he appeared to be attempting to be as laid-back as necessary at work. He acted in such a distinct manner that someone could only conclude that it was a deliberate and prepared move.
Julien, on the other hand, was never involved in anything strange. He’d been working at the same school for years and had never been investigated.
However, something occurred one day that affected their perception of Julien greatly.
Minnesota had a particularly harsh winter that year. Throughout much of February, snow blanketed the roads on a regular basis. Although some days were more difficult than others, school remained open.
Julien was still teaching his classes, naturally. However, his demeanor began to shift.
He began sticking around the campus after the school day was over every day. He explained that he needed to mark some examinations and preferred to do so at work rather than at home. That didn’t appear out of the ordinary at first.
It was, however, a shift in the behaviors of someone who was before quite ordered and orderly. This raised his co-workers suspicions.
The principal soon discovered that he remained at the school even after the maintenance crew had left, which was quite late.
That sounded a little strange and suspicious. To see what was going on in Julien’s classroom, the principal decided to install a recording device. When he looked over the footage, he was perplexed by what he saw.
Richard Julien spent his entire day in his classroom! He’d fall asleep shortly after the maintenance crew leaves, and then he would head to the locker rooms to shower and shave early in the morning.
Their history teacher lived at the school! Why would that be the case?
By the time the principal had set up the camera, some of Julien’s students were already suspecting something as well. They had noticed Julien staying in the classroom until late and were also wondering why.
One day in March, when the weather was getting a little bit better, they noticed Julian had started leaving the workplace after class, just like before. And they decided to follow him. What they saw then was astonishing.
After his shift, Richard Julien didn’t go to his house. Instead, he went to a van. The students waited in the cold to see what Julien was doing inside the van, but their teacher wasn’t coming out.
They decided to get closer and look through the windows. At that moment, Julien saw them and came out.
Julien was surprised and asked them what they were doing there. When he noticed the kids weren’t able to articulate an answer, he knew it: they had followed him and were curious about what he was up to.
At that point, Julien broke down and told them his story.
He had been living in that van for months now. He had lost his house. Behind his peaceful character and his mild manners, Julien had a crippling gambling habit that had turned his life into hell.
He had a lot of debts, was absolutely bankrupt and he had to rent that van to live in. But during the winter, it was too cold. On top of that, the roads were too covered in snow to drive the van to work. That’s why he had been spending the nights at school. The van wasn’t even his; he felt like his job and his classroom were all he truly had.
The students told the principal about it and he decided to take some measures. He raised Julien’s salary and loaned him some money to pay his debts and enable him to get back on his feet.
Also, Julien’s students joined to collect some money from their own pockets in order to help their teacher out. They gifted him $1,200 in the middle of a class. Teary-eyed, the teacher embraced all his students and thanked them for their gestures.