California School Board Hopeful: I Kidnapped Girls Former teacher Alvina Sheeley says she meant no harm By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Sep 14, 2011 3:10 AM CDT 14 comments Comments "I made a mistake, I paid for it, I was put away for a while," Sheeley says. (Alvina Sheeley) (Newser) – Former high school teacher Alvina Sheeley says she's the right person for a spot on a school board in northern California—despite her history of kidnapping children. The 70-year-old candidate, who is running for a spot on the Fairfield-Suisun board, was visiting relatives in Illinois in 1998 when she abducted four girls aged between 8 and 12 from a bus stop. She pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and spent a more than a year in a federal psychiatric hospital. Sheeley, who told investigators that she wanted to save the girls from a harmful school system and give them a better life, says she was under mental duress at the time and, since she is continuing to take medication for her mental illness, there is little chance she'll abduct anyone again. "The counseling that I received and the medical care helped me to understand why I did what I did," she tells the Daily Republic.