Much has been written about the disparities between men and women regarding jobs and compensation. The balancing of these disparities will be many more years in the making and I probably won’t be around to see it. Hopefully, my daughter will reap the benefits of equalization in her lifetime.
There is, however, an area where women seem to be benefiting from their gender that should cause red faces all around.
Alabama Law prohibits any school employee from having sexual relations with students who are younger than 19. Any teacher or school employee who violates the law can be charged with a Class B felony that carries a punishment of up to 20 years imprisonment. The law also requires they register as sex offenders if convicted. The law says consent is not a defense.
Someone needs to remind authorities in Madison County about the specifics of this law.
A former counselor at a troubled youth home has pleaded guilty to a charge of having sexual contact with a 13-year old student.
She should be facing up to 20 years in prison. But that may not happen.
Her lawyer says she is a viable candidate for a probation sentence because she is a single mother working to provide for her children.
He says she is “remorseful and embarrassed.”
She is to be sentenced soon and regardless of her punishment she will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.
Based on the results of another case in Madison County, probation for this individual will likely be easy to obtain.
A former Madison County teacher pleaded guilty to criminal charges of sexting and having sexual contact with two students.
She was sentenced to time served, plus three years’ probation. Her ten-year sentence was suspended.
She can avoid jail time altogether if she successfully completes the probation period. She will be required to register as a sex offender also.
She was a special education teacher.
She pleaded guilty to felony charges of having sex with a student and engaging in a sex act with a student younger than 19, plus three counts of distributing obscene material.
Both students were at least 16, which prosecutors argue is the age of consent in Alabama.
The Madison County District Attorney went on record saying, “she’s going to be a sex offender, but we’re not sending people to jail for consensual sex without evidence of coercion.”
He might need to brush up on the fine points of the law regarding consent. And there are all kinds of coercion that don’t involve force.
These students were minors. Having relations with them is abuse and a crime.
Teachers are entrusted with the responsibility of caring for and teaching students, not sleeping with them. They are in a position of power with the ability to dominate and control. Those circumstance make it a crime for them to take advantage.
Just because a woman commits the crime does not make it less criminal.
There seems to be a double standard regarding how courts treat male and female teacher sex offenders.
We react with anger and disgust when a male teacher is accused of having sexual relations with a female student. Apparently, the courts view it differently also.
A male teacher in North Carolina was sentenced to 26-33 years in prison for having sex with two female students. A male teacher in Pennsylvania was sentenced to 12 years in prison for an inappropriate relationship with multiple students. One male teacher in Kansas was sentenced to 20 years for sex acts with students.
Nationwide, most females convicted for sexual contact with students in their care are less likely to be jailed for their crimes.
That should be unacceptable to us as a society.
The idea of females as sexual predators challenges our traditional ideas of women as nurturers and caregivers.
Statistics show that young males are less likely to report the abuse by the female teacher.
Some people don’t view the inappropriate relationship between a male student and a female teacher as criminal if the female teacher is attractive. Neither do they view the male as a victim. How wrong is that?
Any time sexual boundaries are violated by an adult, the consequences are life changing for the child.
Many of the young men do not view the contact as abuse until later in life.
Sentencing guidelines with mandatory prison time would be a great starting point. Gender should not be a factor.
Female teachers who engage in sexual conduct with students should be serving the same sentence as their male counterparts.