Why NJ teachers and students keep fooling around (Opinion)
This week another illicit affair between a New Jersey teacher and his student came to light. In the last few years, it seems it's been mostly female teachers getting caught, but this time it was a man. You can't find too many men teaching these days and with the temptation being what it is, that's probably a good thing. He was 28 when "things happened" and she was 17 and 18 and in her junior and senior years.
This allegedly occurred between a Cherokee High School Latin teacher and a student. That's the school my kids attended and they said there were always rumors about some teacher and some student. I went to high school nearby and there were whispers about teachers, but no real stories.
It wasn't until years after I graduated that several female friends of mine told me stories that astounded me. Things happened, but nobody said anything and these women told the stories years later with no regret and no complaint. It's been happening since the beginning of time and it was either kept hush or dealt with quietly amongst the parties involved and their families or employers.
A lot of these teachers are in their late 20s or early 30s, barely adults themselves, especially in a time when maturity seems to come much later than before. If he weren't her teacher, or a teacher, the relationship would have been totally legal. The age of consent in New Jersey is 16. But because he is a teacher and in a supervisory role, then it's not legal.
I understand that they both made a bad decision, and since he's older, should have known better. Yes, he should be disciplined and perhaps fired from being a teacher. But criminal charges like sexual assault. Where's the assault? It was consensual. Endangering the welfare of a child? A 17- and 18-year old girl is not a child.
I'm certainly not condoning his behavior, but to have your life ruined and your name dragged through the mud over a natural impulse, that would have been legal if he weren't a teacher, seems insane. Years ago things were handled with more common sense and discretion. It's a totally natural attraction, but it was a bad choice. One he should have known better about acting on.
The way some young women present themselves today, would cause most men to quit their jobs under the extreme hormonal pressure. In so many ways, the 19th century model we use for public education doesn't work, and this is one glaring example.
The schools must tell the police. The police must make an arrest. The prosecutor must file a charge. It's seems a shame to ruin the young man's life, not to mention the stress this girl and her family have to go through with all of this being public. Why she came forward now, having already graduated and left the school. Before you say, "what if it was your daughter?" ... my opinion would be exactly the same, but of course I would have an interesting conversation with the young man. Nothing good will come out of this, except maybe one less public pension to pay for.
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