Double take: WaPo op-ed says sex between student and teacher should not be a crime
This doesn't exactly point to the end of western civilization.
I do think that 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. But the utter hysteria with which society responds to these situations does less to protect children than to assuage society's need to feel that we are protecting them. I don't know what triggered Morales's suicide, but I find it tragic and deeply troubling that this occurred as the case against Rambold wound its way through the criminal justice system. One has to wonder whether the extreme pressure she must have felt from those circumstances played a role.
I've been a 14-year-old girl, and so have all of my female friends. When it comes to having sex on the brain, teenage boys got nothin' on us. 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.
On the other hand, awareness of sexual harassment was also much lower. Pretty much every woman I know has been sexually harassed in at least one, and usually many, of her jobs and/or academic settings. I was fired from a waitressing job in Boston in 1979, during my first year of law school, after I refused to sit in the manager's lap like the other girls. I would have much rather seen that sleazebag dragged through the legal system than certain teachers I considered friends despite their sexual relations with students that today would land them in jail.
The author, Betty Karasik, is a "writer and former lawyer." One wonders if she was disbarred for stupidity. The reason there is no "consensual" sex between a 14 year old girl - or boy, for that matter - and an adult is little girls may "want" sex, but they do not have the emotional maturity to place the act of love in a cognitive context. Nor do children of that age possess the ability to separate desires that spring from excess hormones to real feelings of love. It's not impossible to love someone who is much older. But teenagers do not have the ability to make any kind of judgment about love which should preclude adults from taking advantge of their naivete.
A teacher having sex with a student is rape - period. Let's allow Ms. Krasik to slink back into obscurity where she belongs.