Student-teacher sex: Is it always a crime?

A Montana teacher will serve 30 days in jail for involuntary sex with a 14-year-old student, who later committed suicide. Stacey Dean Rambold, who was 49 when he started a sexual relationship with Cherice Morales. The troubled girl killed herself a few weeks before her 17th birthday.
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Judge G. Todd Baugh said the girl was older than her chronological age and “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher. In response to protests, Baugh apologized.

Rambold had a chance to get the charges dismissed, but failed to complete a sexual offender treatment program.

Thirty days was too long a sentence, argues Betsy Karasik, a writer and former lawyer, in the Washington Post. Sex between students and teachers shouldn’t be a crime, she believes.

“Teachers who engage in sex with students, no matter how consensual, should be removed from their jobs and barred from teaching unless they prove that they have completed rehabilitation,” Karasik concedes. But let’s not get “hysterical.”

When I was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, the sexual boundaries between teachers and students were much fuzzier. Throughout high school, college and law school, I knew students who had sexual relations with teachers. To the best of my knowledge, these situations were all consensual in every honest meaning of the word, even if society would like to embrace the fantasy that a high school student can’t consent to sex. Although some feelings probably got bruised, no one I knew was horribly damaged and certainly no one died.

No harm, no foul? That’s hard to argue when Cherice Morales killed herself, but Karasik blames the criminal case against Rambold for his victim’s suicide.

If someone wants to argue that it’s OK for teachers to have sex with their underage students, I’d look for a 23-year-old teacher who falls for an 17-year-old student. This was a 49-year-old preying on a 14-year-old girl who was hurt so badly she killed herself. If she was mature, consenting and in control, she wouldn’t have killed herself. 

How low can we go? asksWesley J. Smith, who links to articles “normalizing” what used to be called pedophilia and is now “cross-generational sex.”

College reverses ban on ‘sex’ newspaper

Central New Mexico Community College backed down this week from its decision to suspend the student newspaper for publishing a “sex issue.” Confiscated copies of the newspaper were returned to the news racks.

Also on Community College Spotlight:  Early-college high school students are more likely to earn a diploma and enroll in college, starting with an average of 36 college credits, reports Jobs for the Future.

High school coach in trouble for sex book

self-published book of sex advice and opinions has meant trouble for a high school girls basketball coach in suburban Chicago.  Bryan Craig,  also a counselor at Rich Central High School, resigned as the varsity coach and is on administrative leave while the district reviews the issue.

In the forward to the book, titled “It’s Her Fault,” Craig says his intention is to give women a guide to gaining the “upper hand in a relationship” because he is tired of hearing them complain. The book contains graphic details on his observations of the female anatomy, including what he describes as physical differences between ethnicities that lead him to conclude that “Latin women have more children.”

Among the assertions in the book is that all men and women should be promiscuous before getting married.

He also writes, “The easiest kill for a man is through the young lady with low self-esteem. Of course some will feel this is taking advantage, and yes it is.

Can he be fired for expressing his opinions? Should he be?

No, writes Darre.  Firing a teacher for something like this is a “heckler’s veto” on employment. 

Nanny says no: Hot for teacher

Reason‘s “Nanny of the Month” law would make student-teacher sex a felony, even if the student is 18 or older. Adult ed teachers and school volunteers are included in the proposed Michigan law.

To unify the family, teen sex sleepovers?

Family life would be happier if U.S. parents let their teen-agers have sex with their lovers at home, argues Amy Schalet, a U-Mass sociology professor, in the New York Times.  For her book, Not Under My Roof, Schalet interviewed 130 white, middle-class, not-very-religious American and Dutch parents.

While American parents think they should “steer teenage children away from relationships that will do more harm than good,” Dutch parents regard teenagers “as capable of falling in love, and of reasonably assessing their own readiness for sex.”

Dutch parents are more likely to talk to their children “about sex and its unintended consequences and urge them to use contraceptives and practice safe sex,” Schalet asserts.

Normalizing teenage sex under the family roof opens the way for more responsible sex education. In a national survey, 7 of 10 Dutch girls reported that by the time they were 16, their parents had talked to them about pregnancy and contraception. It seems these conversations helped teenagers prepare, responsibly, for active sex lives: 6 of 10 Dutch girls said they were on the pill when they first had intercourse. Widespread use of oral contraceptives contributes to low teenage pregnancy rates — more than 4 times lower in the Netherlands than in the United States.

However, “sleepovers aren’t a direct route to family happiness.” Good to know.

The op-ed doesn’t compare sex education, contraceptive use or pregnancy rates for white middle-class Americans and Dutch teens. It’s possible to discuss the risks of sex without providing a bedroom, writes Stephen Kruiser on PJ Media.

A no-sex-under-my-roof policy is a great way to get adult children to move out of the house, suggests Instapundit.

Raise your hand if it feels weird to have sex in your parent’s house with your spouse.  Yes, I thought so.

 

Flash: School teachers have sex

“Almost all public school teachers have sex,” writes PZ Myers on Pharyngula. “Most of them enjoy it and do it repeatedly.”

Public school teachers may be Democrats, Republicans, perhaps Communists. They are atheists, Episcopalians, Baptists, Scientologists. Above all, they’re human.

All of your public school teachers go home at the end of the school day and have private lives, where they do things that really aren’t at all relevant to your 8 year old daughter, your 15 year old son. That you pay taxes to cover their salaries for doing their jobs during work hours does not entitle you to control the entirety of their lives.

“Local prudes” fired a teacher who’d been a sex worker years after she gave up the trade. Myers remembers his geometry teacher, who was fat, sweaty, odd — and a fantastic teacher.

Every year he rewarded the best of his students with an invitation to his house for a formal party, with snacks and Nehi soda. He was single and weird, but there was no worry about impropriety — there’d be a score of us there, who would all be treated politely as adults, which was mind-blowing right there. He’d play music for us: opera and show tunes.

. . . The people who didn’t care that he was a fantastic, enthusiastic math teacher who taught students self-respect and to love math only saw a strange man who didn’t fit in, who was odd, who fit certain stereotypes, and who obviously could not be trusted.

After a whisper campaign, he was fired. Myers is still mad about it.

Teen sex is dreary on MTV’s ‘Skins’

MTV’s Skins, which features “lurid and explicit” teenage sex, teaches teens some valuable lessons, writes Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post. Other teens-gone-wild shows make adolescent sex and drug use “seem glamorous and exciting,” she writes.

CW’s “Gossip Girl” . . .  portrays the “scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite,” as the anonymous narrator says at the start of every episode.

By contrast, the kids on “Skins” seem sad, lonely and disturbed, each in his or her own distinctively troubled way. Cadie is a strung-out pill-popper with a stable of inept, pill-dispensing shrinks and parents who are too self-absorbed to pay her much attention beyond suggesting that she take her meds. Chris is a strung-out pill-popper – he’s taken an excess of Erectagra – whose mother abandons him with a scrawled note and $1,000 in cash in an envelope.

They manage to make sex seem like a dreary, transactional chore – a sex-for-pills exchange is arranged to engineer a loss of virginity – and drugs and alcohol seem like, well, drugs and alcohol, unpleasantly disorienting and prone to induce vomiting.

Marcus thinks teens will appreciate their own nagging parents after watching the checked-out, boozed-up parents on Skins.

Will teens watch Skins as a cautionary tale of the downside of sex, drugs and lax parenting? Or will they take the show as a sign that promiscuity and drug abuse are normal?

Devoted dads, less risky teen sex

Devoted dads can reduce risky teen sex, concludes a Boston College study published in Child Development. “Risky” means sex without condoms or contraception.

The more attentive the dad — and the more he knows about his teenage child’s friends — the bigger the impact on the teen’s sexual behavior, the researchers found. While an involved mother can also help stave off a teen’s sexual activity, dads have twice the influence.

. . . Parental knowledge of a teen’s friends and activities was rated on a five point scale. When it came to the dads, each point higher in parental knowledge translated into a 7 percent lower rate of sexual activity in the teen. For the moms, one point higher in knowledge translated to a 3 percent lower rate of teen sexual activity.

The impact of family time overall was even more striking. One additional family activity per week predicted a 9 percent drop in sexual activity.

A young father who’d grown up fatherless once told me he took his little girl to McDonald’s every week for a daddy-daughter meal. He wanted her to feel special long before teen-age boys asked her out and expected something in return.