Ahh, the holier than thou. They generally judge theoretically. They look down on people who do things they swear they’d never do, even though they’re judging based on situations they’ve never been in.

The holier than thou rarely have empathy or the ability to see the gray in a situation. Only the black and white.

They swear that someone is a horrible person for choosing to do X, when they’ve never been faced with the same set of circumstances that would require them to choose whether or not to X. Nor can they imagine what it’s like to be faced with the choices. Or they refuse to

Case in point: The 24-year-old Hamilton teacher who had sex with a 17-year-old.

He’s a red-blooded American male, she’s a red-blooded American female. Except for situations like these, a 17-year-old woman isn't ever considered a child.

The law is the law, of course. But the law is either misguided or antiquated. Just as many 17-year-old students can be seductresses as 24-year-old teachers can be casanovas. I realize that the law says this is a criminal act but let’s be grown-ups. It’s silly.

Empathy: Before you scream “This sexual predator should be locked up!!! And have his life ruined!!!" ask yourself if the teacher were your son or brother or friend, would you want him or her, as the case may be, locked up and branded a sex offender? If you say yes, you’re lying.

We talk about female empowerment. You can’t have it both ways. Should we paint a 17-year-old girl as a weak little flower? Or should she understand the power she’s been imbued with and choose when and how to wield it? After all, if this were a consensual relationship, it's not a rape. Why teach girls that they’re victims?

Being in a supervisory position over her, this teacher made a bad choice, violated the terms of his contract, and let his you-know-what do the talking. But apart from the illogical law that would call something like this “sexual assault” or whatever, these are like two young people doing what young people do. A couple like these two could potentially be married and start a family.

Let’s stop treating these teacher-student liaisons as the worst criminal acts, ruining these teachers' lives. Instead, remove them from the teaching jobs that they have shown they don’t have the self-control to do and allow them to continue their lives like the normal, non-criminals they are.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.

Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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