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Should it be a crime for a public school teacher to have sex with one of her students? I felt like if we didn't do that, we just virtually made it open season on students that are 18-years-old." Most teachers don't need a criminal law to tell us that it's wrong to have sex with our students no matter how old they are (mine are in their 20's and 30's, and it's still wrong). But don't tell that to some of my friends on the panel last night of Fox's "On the Record," where I was all alone with host Greta van Susteren in being willing to enforce the law against a 25- year old former beauty contest participant who had sex with one of her students. As Representative Warren Chisum, who proposed the amendment dropping the age limit explained, "If they're a student, I just think they're off bounds regardless of their age.Visit us and sign in to update your profile, receive the latest news and keep up to date with mobile alerts.Click here to return to the page you were visiting. This information sheet answers some questions about the law frequently asked by teachers. Public employees, including teachers, are prohibited by §§ 3 and 23(b)(2) of the conflict of interest law from accepting gifts worth or more that are given to them because of the position they hold, or because of some action they could take or have taken in their position. The Commission created an exemption in its regulations at 930 CMR 5.08(14) to permit class gifts to teachers in certain circumstances. A teacher who is offered an end-of-the-year gift worth or more should not accept it, unless it is a permissible class gift.
A teacher who receives such a gift must keep receipts documenting that the money was used for classroom supplies. A teacher who is offered an end of the year gift worth less than by someone who did not contribute to a class gift may accept it, after confirming by asking that the giver did not contribute to the class gift. A teacher who accepts a gift worth less than from a student or parent during the school year must file a disclosure if she will continue to teach the student during the rest of the year and the gift is valuable enough that it might create an appearance that she would unduly favor the student.
And short of such a right, it is up to the legislature to set society's standards for acceptable conduct. The fact that my fellow panelists don't happen to "like" it is no reason for it not to be enforced.
There are any number of criminal laws that I don't like.
Would it have been different if it were a male teacher and an 18-year-old girl? There is no question that there is a double standard in sex abuse cases, and nowhere is it more apparent than in what seems to be the growing number of teacher sex cases.
We all react with shock at the very idea of a male teacher "taking advantage" of young women in his class; I can't imagine a panel having trouble with criminal charges in such a case, no matter how good looking the man, indeed, especially if he were good looking.