Final Impressions

Dishonor roll

Written by James Combs
“Hey! Teachers! Leave those kids alone.”— from Pink Floyd’s 1979 Grammy-nominated “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2.”

Here’s a simple four-item list of what we should expect from teachers:

*Motivate students to learn.

*Involve students in critical thinking.

*Encourage students to read outside the classroom.

*Conduct yourselves as role models.

That’s pretty standard stuff. I’m going to add a fifth item:

*Quit having sex with students.

No, that is not a typo. Teachers these days are getting caught with their pants down—literally. Just Google “teacher-student sex” and the list of stories that pop up is endless.

Virtually every week, a new story surfaces about a teacher-student sex scandal. The perpetrators are English teachers, band directors, cheerleading coaches, and football coaches. And they’re preying on the very kids they are paid to nurture and protect.

Terry Abbott, a former chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Education, monitors teacher sex cases. According to his research, there were more than 800 incidents throughout the U.S. in 2014. He referred to teacher-student sexual misconduct as an “epidemic” in Texas, which saw a 41 percent increase in cases during a six-month period between 2014 and 2015.

Yet, as these cases become more common, some people maintain a nonchalant attitude. To them, sex happens. They say things like, “The students were willing participants” or “The students enjoyed it as much as the teacher.” When the student is a boy, you see jocks exchange congratulatory high-fives. In fact, attractive female teacher violators are often glamorized because the public feels adolescent male victims of rape are “lucky.”

Come on, men, don’t let the little head do the thinking for the big head.

Whether the students wanted it or enjoyed it is irrelevant. What’s relevant is that teachers live by a code of ethics. They’re supposed to teach, assess, advise, and support—not take sex education to a whole other disgraceful level. Teachers are also expected to maintain appropriate behavioral boundaries. Crossing those boundaries betrays the trust bestowed on them by the student, school, and community.

So why do they do it? Is it love, lust, or loneliness? Is it some perverted way to abuse their power? Were they sexually inactive during high school and see their return to school as a second chance? Are they reliving their high school glory days? Maybe they’re just true pedophiles.

Whatever the case, they’re a disgrace to the many great educators in America who work hard to shape the lives of young children and teens. They’re (bleeping) (bleeps) if they became teachers just to fulfill some warped sexual fantasy. And they’ve thrown away so much—their marriage, their career, their reputation, their freedom—just to have sex with a minor.

I hope all the ethical teachers are paying close attention. Their perverted colleagues have provided the ultimate lesson in unprofessional and unethical behavior.

 

About the author

James Combs

Akers Media Group's James Combs has been a staff writer for several local publications since August 2000. He has had the privilege of interviewing some of Lake County’s many fascinating residents—from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans—and bringing their stories to life. A resident of Lake County since 1986, James recently embarked on a journey to lead a healthier lifestyle. He has lost 60 pounds and walks nearly five miles a day. In his spare time, he enjoys target shooting, skeet shooting and watching his beloved Kentucky Wildcats!

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