Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hot for teacher?

Generally, I don't write about what's happening in current events, because-well a bunch of someone elses already have. That, and I'm generally eating a bucket of sugared cereal or a donut and a vat of coffee as opposed to listening to talk radio whilst sweat beads balance atop my flared red nostrils struggling to suck in enough oxygen-rich air to push through a few more arduous treadmill strides.

It seems a Washington teacher, Matthew Hirschfelder appealed his first degree sexual misconduct with a minor charge and won. Hirschfelder challenged the charge citing the young woman- an 18 year old choir student of his, was 18 and therefore not a minor at the time the alleged (she says yuppers, he says uh-uhn) sexual misconduct [relationship] occurred.

State official, Larry Haler (guess which letter goes here) is a prime sponsor of a bill to revise the laws and mandate jail time for future offenders. Teachers who engage in sexual misconduct with students age 21 and younger (with a 5 year age differential and, in the same school) will face a minimum 5 years imprisonment.

Skeptics say this is unconstitutional; if 18 is the age of consent you can't criminally charge teachers for violating ethics. Those in favor believe it sends a strong zero tolerance message. It also protects developmentally delayed students who are often in attendance at public high schools until age 21. I say, had Missy Mischief Pants spent more time in, oh...say math class she'd have known that Mister Slimy Singing Teacher Dude had 1 wife and 3, THREE, tres, trois children with another on the way. (Must be all of those damn breaks and summers off.) This leaves ol' Matt-Daddy with approximately 36% (per WA State child support calculator) of his music teacher's salary; not exactly going to put her up in a castle on a hill-not even if he snagged one at a foreclosure auction. 36% of a music teacher's salary is lunch money!

What say you? See the AP article here.



A Cuban In London said...

I think that there should be a strong deterrent in place to prevent teachers from entering any kind of sexual or love liaisong with a student. And no, I am not being prudish. One issue is platonic love, which I recognised in some 14 years olds the only term I taught at a secondary school (I was 22 at the time) and another different issue is teachers or assistant teachers who take advantage of that. If there is a deterrent set in stone, then that will send a clear message to all education practitioners. There will still be the odd ones, though.

Good post.

Greetings from London.

High Desert Diva said...

I think it's nauseating, but in this case, not a criminal offense. Should a teacher have a relationship with a student? No, no, no. (The guy is a worm)

However, 18 is the age of adulthood...if kids can vote and fight in wars, they can also make stupid sexual mistakes.

Oh2122 said...

This like this *p*** me off. Age of consent not withstanding, it is still an authority figure vs. suboordinate, and as an ACTUAL adult, he knew it was wrong.

Otherwise he'd be telling wifey all about it over his corn flakes and coffee.

Mequet said...

What I really can't deal with is the disparity in punishment and public opinion for female teachers vs male teachers. A man does it and he's a pedophile. A woman does it and it's all "meh, so what, the boy enjoyed it anyway". It's pretty shameful. Like that Mary LeTourneau woman? She had 2 babies with that kid that was *13* when she originally sexually abused him and THEN they got married! WTF, man?

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

maybe im glad i am not or was not yyour teacher lol
have a gr8 weekend sister

Ms. Bar B: said...

Well damn. This is a toughy. I think, in this case, its more an issue of morality than criminal since she was 18. As a teacher, in a school, he should have never engaged in any kind of sexual or romantic relationship with a student. I mean, you just don't do shit like that. You don't screw your students just like a boss isn't suppose to screw his employees. Its just in the rule books. If he really wanted to have something with her (which he obviously shouldn't have been doing since her was MARRIED WITH CHILDREN) he should have waiting until she graduated. She was 18, damn, can't you wait!!

The whole 18 thing in itself bothers me. I mean, 18 and 19 is still teen, but yet its an age of consent, when one becomes an adult, but still can not take a drink or enter a night club. WTF? Why not make the age of consent 21?????? And as I am sure we all know... age ain't nothin' but a number. Consent doesn't equal mature and obviously neither does age since this teacher obviously made a irresponsible decision.

Why the hell do men always try to have their cake and eat it to...

fly tie said...

i think i'm gonna just have to concur with ms. bar b's first paragraph.

dude...come on. you know that ish ain't right.

i wish folks would just act as if they had some sense to avoid all this type of stuff...the need for law revisions, laws in the first place, etc. maybe that's asking too much.

"Missy Mischief Pants". he he!

Weith Kick said...

Teachers and sex with students, even if it is at the college level, while it may not always be a crime, it does violate a certain amount of level trust. Also, I think teachers in those positions (men and women) are taking advantage of their position in authority. Any way you look at it it's not a good idea.

Ann's Rants said...

Oh, this is why I am so glad I don't legislate or write public policy. So much grey area.

I'm not sure about jail time for sex with a student 18-21. Grounds for dismissal without a doubt, and perhaps other penalties.

Tricky Sticky.

lori vliegen said...

i'm with's definitely nauseating! taking advantage of a teacher/student relationship certainly makes the guy pond scum, and he's definitely old enough to KNOW BETTER!!!

shiborigirl said...

Oh, I think this is revolting. The state school systems should have policies against teachers messing with their students, which would have circumvented the issue of her being 18.

It is just plain wrong for teachers to do this!

Jewelry Rockstar said...

18 or not, she was in HS right??? Well, then he's wrong, very wrong. Misuse of power.

Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

I am not a supporter of strict minimum sentencing laws. Minimum sentencing presumes "one size fits all" and human beings are anything but.

Our country does not have a clear understanding of where the boundary between adulthood and childhood lies: minimum age to marry varies from state to state, 18 to vote, 21 to drink...we are all over the board!

The school system in this case had clear boundaries which were enforced. That skunk lost his job. I think that was probably what the case warranted....that and a divorce.

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