We've become used to seeing headlines every school year about a teacher and a student involved in some kind of sexual encounter. One such teacher, a 30 year-old young woman, has pleaded guilty to "child endangerment," and prosecutors have recommended she spend a year in county jail. Are you f&%$ing kidding me?! The episode involved a 16 year-old young man. The age of consent in New Jersey is 16, unless you're a teacher, a coach or some kind of authority figure of said teenager. Ok, so punish her as a teacher. Terminate her employment if you find the behavior offensive, as I do. Sure what she did was inappropriate and out of bounds, but a year in jail?!
They didn't even have sexual contact. She sent pictures of her breasts and butt and engaged in sexy talk. Ok, that's not the kind of behavior that should be tolerated from a teacher, but jail?! How have we gotten to this point in society? Every time we bring up the topic on the air, we hear from dozens of people who had liaisons with teachers "back in the day" and no one ever says it caused harm and the guys usually say it was a real boost to their confidence in their life. I'm in no way condoning what she did, but the punishment does not fit the offense. Yes, before you ask the stupid question, no, I would not want her to go to jail if it were my son. I might not even want her to lose her teaching license, which is also a part of her punishment.
When we discussed this on the air, several former students at the high school said they remember her and that is was obvious to all that she was "very sexy." Maybe her superiors or whomever hired her should also face consequences if it were that obvious. Maybe in this climate it's that academia has created a situation, in that saying something to her would have gotten them in trouble for bringing it up. Maybe since the system pushes the notion that there's not a difference between men and women, we have to be just as hard on women in these situations. By the way, I would look at it differently if it were my daughter and the teacher were a male, that's a natural reaction. But I still wouldn't want jail time for the teacher, maybe a short private, colorful conversation.
Government has created a mess of public schools and the judicial system getting involved in it has made it worse. What once was normal human behavior which may have bordered on the risqué has become a Salem witch hunt. The more we go overboard in punishing human weaknesses to make a point, the more aberrant behavior will ensue. We see at least a handful of these cases every year in New Jersey and I'm sure this won't be the last. Hopefully someone in the legislature with the guts to do something to change things. It's more likely this will happen a hundred more times before that happens.
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