Sexual Predator Claims There Was ‘No Malicious Intent’ During Sex with MINORS

I’m sure you heard the story about the Catholic Priest, arrested and jailed last year for sexual contact with three teens in his congregation who recently gave a press release defending his actions? The one where he said there was no evil or malicious intent in the sexual contact? Of course not. There was no such story.

If it had happened, it would be the lead story on every newspaper and news broadcast. We would be outraged and calling for an inquiry. We would insist that heads roll, and that the institution be held to account for abuses within its system.

No. There was no priest, and the Catholic Church had nothing to do with this story. The actual details of the real story were entirely different. But we do not react to it the way we would have reacted to the hypothetical one I opened this article with.

It will never make the front page. We will not see generalized outrage, or comedians making scathing jokes at the institution’s expense. We are unlikely to even see any meaningful inquiry, unless there is, first, a sweeping change in public opinion.

Why is this so? There are a lot of possible explanations. Perhaps we really are sexist — with men and women held to different moral standards. Maybe because we care more about holding a religious institution to account (important) than we do about holding other institutions to account (equally important). Of course, it might even be that anti-Catholic bigotry motivates people to decry failings that might be dismissed in different contexts.

What was the real story? The 37 year old female teacher serving time for having sex with three of her students is trying to exonerate herself. That line I used above about no evil or malicious intent in the sexual contact? You guessed it. That was part of her statement.

For all the hand-wringing by feminists about sexual exploitation, here’s an example of sexism that hurts boys. Replay this scenario with a male teacher and female students. How do we react? The case is open-and-shut. Throw the bum in jail.

We’re not merely looking at statutory rape. That would be bad enough if the minors were simple acquaintances and there were no professional trust being exploited. But when a teenage boy has sex with a teacher? There’s a wink and a nod. “Attaboy.” As though this were the moral equivalent of “hooking up” with the homecoming queen. Leaving aside, for the moment, any moral objections to the latter, these sexual encounters are not the same at all.

Remember, this situation exploits an unequal power dynamic. We already understand this in context of the workplace. We call it “sexual harassment”. This is no different.

The same way that an intern and the head of a company are not truly peers, and their relationship is more complicated than that of ordinary consenting adults, a teenage boy and his teacher are, likewise, not peers. Teachers have authority over their students. They can reward or penalize their students. This fact by itself muddies the question of whether a student is consenting — even if he were old enough give legal consent.

The whole point of the “Hot for Teacher” fantasy is that it can never happen. It’s a forbidden relationship.

As a culture, we often celebrate that we’ve broken down taboos. The problem is, we’ve forgotten that some taboos serve a useful purpose. They are cultural peer pressure to not do things that are blatantly wrong. Like doctors sexually exploiting patients. Or teachers their students.

Remember how I opened with the Catholic Church reference? There were real cases of abuse reported there. They were not handled properly, and the public was rightly outraged.

But what about the public school system? (Where the “L” is fast becoming silent.) There are far more teachers than priests in America. How many are betraying public trust in this way? Are these isolated incidents, or symptoms of a massive problem?

How that question is answered will determine whether we drop the hammer on a few offenders, or whether we call for heads to roll, institutionally, start legal inquiries and maybe we need to modify the law and create massive penalties for this specific abuse. (Lengthy prison sentences, maybe, with a mandatory minimum?)

Kenn Daily — another Clash Daily contributor — recently wrote about the scope and extent of this scandal. Read what he has to say, and decide for yourself.

Share if you think teachers need to be held accountable for their actions

About the author: Wes Walker

Wes Walker is the author of "Blueprint For a Government that Doesn't Suck". He has been lighting up Clashdaily.com since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck

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