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barbie-doll teacher gets watered down sentence
by lucy lediaev
11.23.05
news

Debra Lafave, a former remedial reading teacher at Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, Florida, pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior, and was sentenced to three years of house arrest followed by seven years probation. She also must register as a sex offender.

I read the results of blonde, blue-eyed Debra LaFave's plea bargain with disbelief. I had to wonder what her sentence might have been if she'd been a male teacher accused of having sex on school premises with a female student. Clearly, there's a double standard at work here.

I understand that the boy's parents approved the terms of the plea bargain because they did not want to put their son through the embarrassment of a trial. However, plea bargain or not, the sentence should have been much harsher. I don't buy the defense attorney's assertion that Ms. LaFave's bipolar affective disorder made her sufficiently insane to molest a fifteen-year-old boy. I've known several people with severe manic-depressive disorders and, from my experience, this kind of acting out is not typical of the illness.

Like male sex offenders, Ms. LaFave took advantage of her position as an authority figure to exploit a young teenager. At a pre-trial hearing, Ms. LaFave's attorney argued that she is "too pretty" to go to jail; he also stated his concern that because of her beauty she would be subject to abuse in jail. It's generally known that sex offenders are the most despised of all inmates and are likely to be the objects of violence from other inmates. Why should Ms. LaFave's blonde Barbie-doll looks rate her an easier sentence than a man convicted of the same crime?

Now, it is not only those with money and social status who are treated differently in the justice system. Appearance has become a major factor in sentencing. Clearly, anyone who is homely, fat, or otherwise lacking in pulchritude knows that society does not treat them as kindly as someone who meets the current definition of beauty, but this case demonstrates an extreme emphasis on the superficial issues as determining factors in a sentencing decision.

I simply can't imagine what the judge in this case was thinking!


ABOUT LUCY LEDIAEV

A freelance writer and full-time grandma, Lucy Lediaev retired recently from a position as web master, tech writer, and copy writer in a biotech firm. She is enjoying retirment more than she ever dreamed and is now writing about topics that are, for the most part, interesting and fun. She also has time to pursue some of her long-time interests, such as crafts, reading, sewing, baking, cooking, and the like.

more about lucy lediaev

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COMMENTS

adam kraemer
11.23.05 @ 6:46p

To be fair, I think it would make more sense to take her sentence in terms of other older female/young boy scenarios.

For many reasons, you can't draw a direct parallel between this occurrence and a man/girl situation. The psyches of the genders, for one. The biology, for another.

I know I could get attacked for this, so let me state right now that I do believe that she took advantage of her age and position. But that said, having once been a 15-year-old boy, I can also guarantee that at least part of him enjoyed being offended sexually. I'm not saying that there isn't psychological damage caused; I'm sure there is.

However, to say that her sentence was lower because she's pretty is a bit specious. A handsome male teacher would not get leniency because of it, and for that reason, if no others, it's not a decent comparison.

lucy lediaev
11.24.05 @ 11:03a

It was Lafave and her attorney who made "pretty" an issue. I believe it played into the sentencing. In our culture, pretty people are treated differently than homely or fat people!

You could argue that some 15-year-old girls might enjoy a sexual relationship with a male teacher and, in fact, might have been seductive towards the teacher. The teacher is still culpable. The same stands for a female teacher who takes advantage of a fifteen-year-old boy.

robert melos
11.25.05 @ 2:51a

I find it interesting that by today's standards 15 is considered young, yet we go on for hours in English Lit. classes praising Romeo and Juliet, about two teenagers, essentially 13 and 15 themselves, in love. Age of consent is a legal term that does not cover the heart.

Having said that, I agree in part with Adam. Most 15 year old boys are hopped up on hormones and willing to participate in any sexual activity offered. This doesn't mean LaFave is innocent. She definitely took advantage of a situation. Pedophiles have a different mind set when it comes to acceptable and normal. This woman got a light sentence because she is a woman, and in the male dominated society she is openly being praised by some for her actions.

Personally I don't get it. What could she possibly see in a kid that a man of 40 or 50 couldn't offer her in ways of conversation and experience?

erik schreiber
11.25.05 @ 12:50p

I find it quite aggravating that she only got 3 years house arrest. Had that been a 15 year old girl and older male teacher, the result would have been the teacher getting a much more serious sentance (as in real jail time), not to mention the admonishment over the trust given a teacher being abused.

After finishing her "sentence" she'll most likely get a playboy deal for her troubles. The male teacher could look forward to a pariah's existance....

As for the boy, WHAT psychological damage??? When I was 15 that would have meant the fulfillment of one of my top 5 fantasies of the time. Taking advantage of her age and position? It was the horny lad that was taking advatage of an oportunity......

lucy lediaev
11.26.05 @ 1:03a

So far the male point of view here is very interesting. As a mother and a grandmother, I'm looking at this from the point of view of the mother of a 15-year-old. I'm not sure I accept that there would be much psychological damage to the boy, but as mother of a teenager, I'd definitely have a problem with a teacher being sexually involved with my child. I also would likely encourage my child to testify against the teacher.

[edited]

dan gonzalez
11.26.05 @ 8:34p

I'm pretty sure I just read - in the above comments- that in the arena of common law, only male victims should be psychologically evaluated to determine sentence guidelines, that underage girls NEVER enjoy sexual relations with older men so male's punishments should be harsher by default, and that it's okay to discriminate amongst people by some arbitrary definition of physical attractiveness, at least if the accused is female. I may even have read an allusion asserting that whether or an individual has a penis or a vagina is a logically valid factor to consider for sentencing.

All this in a 'male-dominated society'. Mind-boggling. Terrifying, actually, from a jury duty perspective. I hope Lucy is the only one sittin' the next time I'm on trial for somethin'.

lucy lediaev
11.27.05 @ 11:33a

Thank you, Dan, for a very clear summation of the case! I'm still very puzzled by the comments of the other men here. Pyschological harm or not, what Lafave did is just wrong under both the mores and laws of every state in this nation.

[edited]

robert melos
11.28.05 @ 12:31a

What she did is wrong, on that point we do agree. However, the ages of consent weren't always what they are today. Personally I don't see why she would need to find a child? There is obviously something psychologically wrong with her in the fact she can't have a relationship with a mature man, or at least one in college.

tracey kelley
11.28.05 @ 10:50a

This isn't as rare as we might think. From a funky Web site:

Adrianne Hockett - She's accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old special needs student. Officers say they found the two in a southwest Houston apartment Hockett rented for the liaisons. The boy testified that they would "have sex, drink beer and smoke weed."

Amber Jennings 31 - She was initially charged with having sex with a 16-year-old, but the charge has been changed to a porn rap: posing a minor in sexual conduct, posing a minor in a state of nudity and dissemination of material harmful to others.

Amber Marshall 23 - Amber Marshall allegedly had sexual contact, including intercourse, with several students.

Amira Sa'Si 30 - Said she didn't think anything was wrong with her relationship because based on Internet research she did, the teenager was 17 and the age of consent in Georgia is 16.

Amy Gail Lilley 36 - She was charged with an alleged relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

Angela Stellwag 24 - She's accused of having sex in her apartment with a 14-year-old boy she met in school.

Beth Raymond 31 - Private school employee Beth Raymond of Maine was charged with risk of injury to a minor and second-degree sexual assault of a juvenile male.

Bethany Sherrill 24 - This school board president's daughter-in-law is charged with molesting a middle school student when he was 14.

Carol Flannigan 50 - Music teacher not only slept with an 11-year-old former student, but also had a sexual relationship with the boy's father at the same time!

Celeste Emerick 32 - Authorites say she hosted a party where students were shown porn.

Donna Carr Galloway 33 - The married mother of two was found naked in a car at 11:30 pm with a 17-year-old student. He was pulling his pants back on.

Elisa Kawasaki 25 - The former biology teacher had sexual relations with a 16-year-old student on up to 20 different occasions, officials say.

Elizabeth Miklosovic 36 - She pleaded no contest today to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old female student she "married" in a pagan ritual.

Elizabeth Stow 26 - She's accused of having sex with three of her students. (But not at the same time ... )

Ellen Garfield 43 - A former student says the teacher, then 43, took him into an empty classroom where she worked, partially disrobed, and coaxed him into having sex with her.

Georgianne Harrell 24 - She's charged with performing oral sex on a 9-year-old boy, allowing students to peek down her blouse and slashing her wrists with glass in front of her students. She plead not guilty.

Gwen Ann Cardozo 33 - Gwen Ann Cardozo is charged with having sex with a 17-year-old male student.

Heather Ingram 30 - Heather Ingram, a mathematics, science and business teacher, had sex with a 17-year-old student.

(more below)

[edited]

tracey kelley
11.28.05 @ 10:55a

Jaime Wallace 28 - The cute basketball coach was charged with having an 18-month relationship with a girl student.

Joan Marie Sladky 28 - She was sentenced to six months in county jail for having sex with a 16-year-old student. Joan, 28, pleaded no contest to four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, oral copulation and penetration with a foreign object.

Karen Ellis 37 - She burst into tears after being sentenced to jail for six months for having sex with a 15-year-old student.

Katherine Tew 30 - A married English teacher married female teacher, she was busted for having sex with a student.

Kathy White 39 - She's charged with having sex with a 17-year-old student. "She said hey come to my bedroom, and that`s where I went." He says she made a play for his brother too.

Kelly Lynn Dalecki 28 - Another Florida schoolteacher busted. She pleaded no contest to charges she had sex with a 13-year-old boy.

Kristen Margrif 27 - Accused of having sex with a 16-year-old male student either in her car or the store where he was working for the summer.

Lakina Stutts 40 - This public school bus driver admitted to cops that she had sex with a 14-year-old student in her home and in a car outside the boy's home a few times.

Laura Anne Brownlee 26 A former music mistress at a top private school, she was sentenced on six charges of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

Laura Lynn Findlay 30 - Ho down! The middle school band teacher was charged with having sex with at least 5 students, one as young as 14

Margaret De Barraicua 30 -Arrested after police found her with a 16-year-old male student in her car as the woman's toddler was strapped into a car seat in the back.

Maria Saco 28 - She was sentenced to one year in jail for having an intimate relationship with a teenage student. He was 14 when they first met.

Mary Kay Letourneau 34 - The original sex scandal teacher. She did prison time after having an affair with a sixth-grade student, and had two children by him.

Melissa Michelle Deel 32 - She plead guilty to crossing a state line to have oral sex with a student, a 13-year-old boy.

Michelle Kush 29 - Allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old boy several times in the last three months during summer break.

Nicola Prentice 22 - Sexy blonde Nicola Prentice was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence after she seduced a 16-year-old student and began a 19-month affair.

Nicole Pomerleau 31 - The high school English teacher is accused of having a sexual relationship with her 16-year-old student.

Pam Smart 22 - a media services director at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, had convinced her 15 year-old lover to murder her husband. The film 'To Die For' is based on her story.

Pamela Turner 27 - Pamela is accused of having a three month sexual relationship with a 13-year-old boy. (more below)

[edited]

tracey kelley
11.28.05 @ 10:58a

Rachelle Vantucci 32 - A former substitute teacher in western New York. She admitted having sex with a 16-year-old boy.

Rebecca Boicelli 33 - She gave birth to a baby last year and DNA test results gave prosecutors enough evidence to prove that the father is Boicelli's former student -- 16 at the time of conception.

Rhianna Ellis 24 - New York City teacher who allegedly had a 10 month affair with an 18-year-old and allgedly gave birth to his baby.

Robin Gialanella 26 - This elementary school teacher engaged in kissing and inappropriate conduct and conversations with two sixth-grade boys in 2003 and 2004. She was sentenced to 364 days in county jail. The boys were ages 11 and 12.

Samantha Solomon 29 - Fired after school bosses learned she was having sex with a teenage boy. She denies the charges.

Sandra "Beth" Geisel 42 - Fired from her job at the private all-boys school after police in found her in a parked car with a 17-year-old. She got six months in jail, plus time she'd already served.

Sarah Jayne Vercoe 25 - Pleaded guilty to 11 counts of having sex with a student. Prosecutors say Vercoe lured four boys to her house for group sex after offering them a lift home from a basketball game and sent regular text messages to another victim.

Shelley Allen 35 - This East Texas teacher's aide is out of jail on bond. She's accused of sexual assault and could get 20 years.

Shelley White 24 - a geography teacher engaged to be married -- but had the hots for a 15-year-old student. She was able to avoid jail and got 12 months community service.

Stephanie Burleson - a was a volleyball coach and teacher at Floresville High School six years ago, when she was accused of molesting a 16-year-old female student.

Susan Eble 35 - The former teacher's aide is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy.

Tara Lynn Crisp 29 - Cops say she had sex with a student at least three times beginning when he was 14.

Toni Lynn Woods 37 Confessed to having sexual intercourse with three juveniles a total of four times and oral sex with one of those juveniles and another juvenile a total of four times. She resigned.

dan gonzalez
11.28.05 @ 4:51p

Holy shit. Obviously all those chicks spent WAY too much time studying education in college, and not nearly enough time carousing, probably due in large part to the anti-smoking, anti-drinking agendas which are now firmly built into the curricullum.

What is this country coming to? We need to lower the drinking age back to 18 and make smoking cool again before it's too late. Either that, or get more males involved in teacher education and at least give these gals some professors to bang.


LET'S BRING GRATUITOUS SEX AND DEBAUCHERY BACK TO COLLEGE WHERE IT BELONGS!

lisa r
11.28.05 @ 5:10p

Seems to me school systems need to start spending a little less time obsessing about student standardized test scores and a little more time obsessing over teacher psyhcological test scores.

I also think there is too much emphasis on the adult nature of the teenage body in media and fashion. No thought is given to the fact that the minds in those bodies are still immature and incapable of making rational decisions. For crying out loud, we've got preteens wearing satin camisoles and hip-huggers. They're children, not vertically challenged adults. Perhaps if they were to look more like children in the classroom, some of the temptation would be reduced for the teachers.

dan gonzalez
11.28.05 @ 5:13p

I have to agree, on both my experiences in the classroom, and nowadays in the malls. The mall looks a lot like GIRLS GONE WILD WHILE SHOPPING.

erik schreiber
11.28.05 @ 6:13p

Emotional maturity varies from person to person. Hell, I've met some 25-30 year olds that shouldn't be having sex based on that criteria!

As for the kids dressing like they do, they are only emulating what they see in music videos and the like....the only way to get the creators to ease off would be reduced sales of their product, i don't see that happening anytime soon...

I rather doubt any temptation would be reduced by more conservative dress on the student's part, unless we're talking black sacks for the body and masks for the face.
(are there psychological tests for teachers as part of the hire process?)


dan gonzalez
11.28.05 @ 10:49p

Emotional maturity varies from person to person

There's no question. But how does that relate to punishing a perpetrator? On average, males actually mature slower, so should La Fave be punished more severely than men who have sex with their underage students? Not seeing it.

As for conservative dress, you're right, dressing conservative, like the catholic school girls uniform, doesn't thwart temptation much, but at least they're not walking around like bar sluts. And don't get me wrong, I like bar sluts, a lot, I just don't 15-year-old girls should dress like them.

As for psych evals for teachers, I didn't have one to get my cert, but I did have a background check and the FBI took my fingerprints and all.

robert melos
11.29.05 @ 12:22a

The lists Tracey posted are staggering. However, I did notice a few of the age differences were less than 10 years apart. My grandfather was 22 years older than my grandmother. She married him when she was 20. She grew up with his children from his first marriage. Granted their's wasn't a student-teacher relationship, but for the difference of two years they would've been breaking the law.

As for the way a girl or guy dresses, we just don't hear all that much about the conduct of those who do live in countries where they dress from head to toe in sacks and are repressed. What we do hear is carefully fed to us.

Example, we rarely hear that in some Islamic nations it is still legal for adult men to have sex with young boys until the boys reach the age of 12.

One of the examples on the above lists claimed she didn't know she was doing anything wrong because the age of consent in Georgia was 16 and the boy was 17. If that is the case, that woman isn't breaking a law.

As for punishment, there is definitely a double standard when it comes to what men do and what women do. Also a double standard as to what the rich get away with as opposed to the poor. Michael Jackson is that example.

tracey kelley
12.1.05 @ 11:14p

Lucy, you were spot on prophetic with this. USA Today did a huge feature on this topic Nov. 30 - you can probably still find it online.

It included the tale of Sylvia, the teacher who threw wild parties for high schoolers and slept with teenage boys from her daugher's social circle because she "didn't get to do that when she was young and wanted to be cool. They called me the cool mom."

Chreeeest on a bicycle, that's disgusting. You'll be happy to know her sentence was 30 years.

lucy lediaev
12.2.05 @ 11:45a

Tracey, thanks! I'll look for the article online. Sylvia's sentence is much more appropriate than the non-sentence given Lafave.

anya werner
12.2.05 @ 1:10p

Wow. And, I feel creepy when I think an actor as young as Leo DiCaprio is handsome. Actually, he is just too "boyish" for me.
I don't know what these women are thinking, but either way they should be subject to the same laws as male sexual offenders.



lucy lediaev
12.2.05 @ 4:21p

Here's a picture of Sylvia (Silvia?) and one of Debra Lafave. Any thoughts on the difference in their sentences. I'm convinced that the court was swayed by Lafave's youthful look of "wide-eyed innocence."

jael mchenry
12.2.05 @ 4:30p

I think Lafave should have gotten some jail time, but I also think her offense wasn't as bad as Sylvia's, given that Sylvia's offenses involved a lot more than just one kid, and drugs as well as sex. Apparently she pled guilty to "two counts of sexual assault, and nine counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor."

lucy lediaev
12.2.05 @ 5:50p

I agree that Lafave's offenses were not as extreme as Sylvia's, but the gap between the two sentences is nonetheless startling. Lafave's sentence was little more than a slap on the hand. Even a year-long sentence would have been more appropriate.

adam kraemer
12.13.05 @ 10:57a

Lucy - I know I started this off, but I think my point has been misconstrued. I never said that Lafave wasn't in the wrong.

What I said was that saying "if the roles were switched" is a cliche and that justice is hopefully a little more flexible than that.

Not every situation begs for objective punishment; sometimes things like gender do need to be taken into account.

Personally, I believe this case was one of them. You say "Like male sex offenders, Ms. LaFave took advantage of her position as an authority figure to exploit a young teenager." How do you know? If I were 15 and an attractive 20-something blonde wanted to have sex with me, well, if nothing else, I wouldn't take her position as an authority figure into account.

Again, yes, what she did was wrong. And it was statutory rape. But do you know how difficult it is to achieve an erection when you're not aroused? I imagine you don't. That's why reversing the roles is specious. Not because she doesn't deserve more jail time or because she got leniency for being pretty, but because there are some very obvious differences in our physiology, if nothing else.

I can 100% guarantee you that the kid was in no danger of getting pregnant.

lucy lediaev
12.13.05 @ 11:25a

Adam, I see your point about the boy's reaction, but LaFave was the "adult" in this mix. She had a clearly defined responsibility as a teacher to protect and not exploit a minor student.

I imagine you and I will never have a meeting of the minds on this issue.

I would not have brought up the "pretty card" if LaFave and her attorney had not done so first!

adam kraemer
12.13.05 @ 11:44a

I agree with you. In fact, I'll repeat it word for word.

She had a clearly defined responsibility as a teacher to protect and not exploit a minor student.

But how you get from there to "it should be the same sentence as if a man had done it to a girl" is what I don't see.

juli mccarthy
12.13.05 @ 11:55a

Because, Adam, there is no difference in the actual CRIME committed. While a boy may become physically aroused enough to function sexually, that does NOT mean he is emotionally prepared to have sex. And sex with a minor is sex with a minor, regardless of gender.

You're skating dangerously close to the "she asked for it" mentality too often ascribed to female rape victims. "She wore a short skirt, she flirted with me..." is not that different to "well, he had an erection so obviously he wanted to have sex."

Teenage boys, as we've noted before, get erections when thinking about linoleum.

adam kraemer
12.13.05 @ 1:48p

I wasn't aware that our justice system was black-and-white. I'll note your opinion on euthenasia.

And I'm not claiming that he wanted to have sex.

I'm just saying that the "if the roles were reversed" argument is riddled with inconsistencies and holes.

lucy lediaev
12.13.05 @ 5:19p

Sorry, Adam, but as a woman who has fought in the workplace for the right to be treated the same as men (equal work for equal pay, etc.), I would expect the justice system to treat me with the same leniency or harshness as a man convicted of a similar crime. Clearly, there may be extenuating circumstances in any criminal case, but that does not explain the huge gap between the sentence received by Ms. LaFave and her male counterparts.


adam kraemer
12.13.05 @ 5:32p

And I would still argue that one of the extanuating circumstances is that forced or coerced sex is much more invasive, dangerous, and traumatic for the female gender.

Not because you aren't equal, but because you're physically different.

jael mchenry
12.13.05 @ 6:06p

I disagree, but I see why you're drawing the distinction now. Didn't understand it before.

Sexually exploiting a minor, especially from a position of teacher/coach/priest/whatever authority is equally reprehensible no matter what gender is doing it to what gender. The sentence is not automatically the same in all cases, obviously, but it's hard to argue that Ms. LaFave's punishment was not incredibly light given the offense.

The "too pretty" argument may be clouding the issue, as we know that the attorney brought it up, but not whether it factored into the judge's decision. I would hope it didn't.

adam kraemer
12.16.05 @ 11:31a

It doesn't factor into the decision about sending pretty men to prison....

dan gonzalez
12.16.05 @ 1:38p

Our system isn't black and white per se, there are min/max sentences for crimes and guidelines and precedents, as I under stand it. So any given male COULD get the same sentence that La Fave did, but we're saying, by precedent, they NEVER do. This because female victims are always presumed to have emotional/physical damage or whatever. All they have to do is say they said or even thought 'no' at some point and it's rape, and that this is clearly not presumed for male victims.

So we're not saying justice should be black and white, we're saying it should be blind. What what you seem to be suggesting, Adam, is the definition of discrimination: That males should be presumed, based solely on gender, to be more egregious offenders, or in the revese case, to be less damageable victims. On average, you seem to indicate, males are more or less just participants. And you seem to be basing it purely on genitalia and the fact that you, yourself, would have happily poked any attractive teacher who gave you a shot at it. (And if I've misconstrued any of that, please enlighten me.)

adam kraemer
12.16.05 @ 4:40p

I'm basing it on a) the fact that justice isn't blind and we live in the real world where crying might get a woman out of a speeding ticket a lot more often than it will a man. And b) even if every boy who ever had sexual relations with an older woman really didn't want to. Even if they didn't believe in sex before marriage. Or if they were gay. Or if they just realized it was wrong. Or if they were too young to appreciate the implications, whatever... I'm saying that even if every single one of them was a 100% unwilling participant, that sex for a woman is still more invasive and comes with a greater chance of physical dangers: pregnancy, UTIs, STDs (more easy for women to get them), physical evidence of loss of virginity (in those cases), severe pain, and, oh yeah, did I mention pregnancy?

I never said that my argument was precluded on the idea that every young man wants to sleep with a hot teacher. Yes, that kind of stuff could definitely damage him psychologically. But there's a difference between being violated and being violated and invaded. And that's where I make the distinction.

[edited]

dan gonzalez
12.27.05 @ 10:54a

I understand all that. What I'm saying is that the distinction is pointless because no one is responsible for their particular equipment, and thus for the extent to which they can be 'invaded', and it just doesn't change the crime itself. A crime is a crime, and a victim is a victim, right?

It's like saying that dumping gas and igniting somebody because they're a different ethnic persuasion is defineably, morally worse than, say, dumping gas and igniting someone because you owe them money and want them to go away. It's the same crime.

So while I fully grasp the point your making, the physical distinction, I can't fathom the conclusion that raping females is fundamentally WORSE than raping males solely because of those arbitrary anatomical differences.

ETA: Also, I was joking about you happily scrogging that teacher, I know you're not basing anything off that, and what honest straight male wouldn't hit something like that up? We all would!

[edited]

stacy smith
12.31.05 @ 10:51a

Where are the parents in all these cases? Working too many hours? Spending too much time kissing their bosses asses? Spending all their free time socializing with friends?

People can point fingers in every which direction, but lessons in morals and ethics still start at home.

Oh yeah, Happy New Year to all....

lucy lediaev
12.31.05 @ 2:37p

Stacy,
You are absolutely right about parents, but as a parent when I turn my child over to the schools and he or she is out of my care and control, I expect that adult teachers and staff will comport themselves responsibly and appropriately. Hopefully, a child who has been taught good values at home will not willingly participate in sexual misconduct with those adults, but in schools the adults are authority figures.

I guess we could blame the parents of authority figures whose morals lapse for their behavior. Bottom line, the adults in these situations bear more responsibility than do the minor children.

stacy smith
12.31.05 @ 7:16p

True, but parents also need to be an active part of their childrens lives as well. Just because a kid is in the house sitting in front of the TV with an X Box controller in his/her hands for hours on end does not constitute as being "actively" involved.

Did I tell my parents everything that was going on in my life when I was a teen? No, but I never thought about having sex with any of my teachers either.

Problem with these stories is the media doesn't tell the whole story. I have to wonder of these teachers are seeking out students that are shy and or easily threatened. If that is the case, such patterns should be clear as day.

Whether these kids are feeling threatened or not, they should have enough life experience to know that having sex with an "authority figure" regardless of who they are is wrong. If having sex with a teacher means a passing grade, the student should be able to stand up for him or herself and say something to somebody.

As far as these teachers go, they need to go away. Far away never to be seen or heard from again. People that get off having sex with a 15 year old are not right in the head...

lucy lediaev
12.31.05 @ 11:02p

Stacy,
I don't disagree with you at all. Parents need to maintain sufficiently good communication with their teens that even the shyest kid can bring inappropriate behavior to their attention. Clearly, parents have the ultimate responsibility for their kids' well-being.



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