By Alan Caruba
America is a very different place from the one in which I grew up in the 1940s and 50s. Change is to be expected. Technology transforms the way we live, often in ways we do not initially comprehend. Events alter our perceptions, but one thing does not change. It is morality. The rules of good and bad behavior, right and wrong do not change.
It has always been wrong, at least in the Judeo-Christian culture of Western civilization, for an adult to have sex with a child and particularly with one under their supervision. Our government run schools with compulsory attendance put the vast bulk of our children in the care of strangers.
Fifty or more years ago if a teacher was found to be having sex with a student, the entire community was appalled. The offending teacher would be sent to jail. That is less and less the case these days because school administrators are often at pains to sweep such cases under the rug in some fashion or to ignore children courageous enough to complain of inappropriate behavior. Judges too often lean in favor of the offending teacher.
I will not address whether or not there is more sex between students, but there is sufficient data to suggest this too has been a growing problem for many years. In families where both parents work, the child has more unsupervised time, cell phones permit for private communications, and access to pornography is far more available to young people. This affords greater susceptibility to sexual relations with teachers and peers.
Today cases involving teacher-student sex rate a headline, but those headlines have become a continual series of such stories. My impression is that there is too much teacher-student sex in our schools and it does not appear to evoke as much outcry or concern as in former times.
Worthy of an entire separate commentary (or a book!) today’s children and young people have been increasingly sexualized in terms of the popular media, fashion, et cetera.
A recent World Net Daily story caught my eye. On June 4 the headline was “Teacher rapes girl after predator principal snagged.” In Georgetown, Delaware’s Sussex Central High School, a popular teacher was arrested on charges of allegedly having raped a 15-year-old female student. He had just delivered the spring commencement speech. A year earlier, the same school’s principal faced charges for having sex with a 17-year-old female student.
WND’s David Kupelian wrote an extensive article for Whistleblower magazine in March 2006 that examined the “epidemic of teacher-student sex.” The website has pages devoted to how many cases there have been in recent years at http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=39783
People of a conservative point of view tend to be watchful for signs that our society is endangered by failing moral standards, not because we don’t view sex as a natural part of life, but because we know there are rules of behavior a healthy, civil society must apply. Among those rules are those involving protecting youth who are vulnerable if neither parent, nor church, has provided moral boundaries and cautions.
As a good friend points out, it takes parents to raise a child properly, not a “village.”
Schools are part of the “village”, but it is clear they can no longer automatically be trusted to provide protection against sexual predators. And the best protection are parents who explain the rules and why they exist. Parents these days must provide the support and trust a child needs in order to report any sexual advances, inappropriate touching, and similar threats to the child’s present and long term welfare. It’s not a victimless crime.
Along with rape, a crime recognized by every society, there are widespread state laws regarding statutory rape with those deemed too young to make a judgment regarding sex with an older male or female.
The numbers of female teachers accused and arrested for statutory rape has been increasing and, along with male teachers, the need to impose stiff jail sentences and the assurance they never again can teach anywhere needs to be addressed in every town and city in America.
The reality, however, is that our tabloid society has been exploiting cases of teacher-student sex and the message has been that it is not a crime, nor that it endangers and warps the lives of the seduced students despite the defense of “mutual consent”.
We used to be far more watchful and far more outraged. Apparently, we’re not any more.
Editor’s Note: There are two recently published books from Regnery Publishing that concerned parents should read. They are You’re Teaching My Child What? A Physician Exposes the Lies of Sex Education and How they Can Harm Your Child and 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.