Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hot for Teacher!

According to the Tennesseean Portland High School teacher Sandy Binkley has been sentenced to 12 years for jumping the bones of a 17 year old student working for her as a teacher's aide.  She used the school locker room for their love nest,  see,

Amazingly, the Judge, got it.  In sentencing her, he said "it doesn't matter if the student is 7 or 17, they deserve protection."  Bravo.

I follow these stories because from the time I was youth, I've known situations where teachers were sexually exploiting kids.  A former brother in law was molested by a choir director, that I knew, who was nothing short of a serial rapist.  The choir director, Armand Masten, got away with it for decades--and Our State laws immunized the school and the church where Masten worked. I know this because I wrote an amicus brief on behalf of victims, years later.

Over the years, I've represented hundreds of victims of rape, incest, and sexual abuse.  Our civil and criminal laws are not equipped to properly permit punitive action against abusers and those with a duty to protect children.  Often the laws that do exist are so narrowly applied as to work absurdities.  As I've said, here, before, the one- and two-year statutes of limitation are scandalous since what child, particularly one with a legacy of sexual exploitation has the emotional wherewithal to protect their legal rights in that narrow window?

A case out of Our Home Town that I handled involved a "special needs" student that was sexually exploited by his "special education" teacher a "real hot number."  Teacher-babe, who was married,  became pregnant and bore my client's baby.  The rape of my client, who despite his "special needs was the high school quaterback--began when Teacher-babe offered to to "date students who improved their grades."

Guess who got prosecuted over this educational-disaster?  Well, would you believe the parents of the student?  That's right, in gathering evidence of the crimes against their son Mom and Dad obtained a computer disk with images of the adult teacher having sex with her students--this constituted, child porn and the parents were indicted!  While the criminal charges against the parents were ultimately dismissed the parents paid a big price in terms of attorney fees, loss of reputation, etc.  The Babe-teacher who had the child with my client-the minor special ed student, well, let's just say Judge Irishname decided she suffered enough and she walked.   The civil case against the school and the teacher was barred by the statute of limitations, because my client who was "a child" for special education purposes, was 20 by time he came to my office to explore his rights.

A particularly galling aspect of this whole mess, was that discovery turned up a personnel file for the teacher that showed not just negligent hiring and retention of Teacher-babe, but outright fraud, academic and otherwise.  For instance all of Mrs. Teacher-babe's references letter were typed on the same typewriter and signed in the same hand, that unsurprisingly looked just like Mrs. Teacher-babe's handwriting.  Huh?  That these clowns at Our Hometown school board hired this woman should have been the scandal of the season, unfortunately this occurred when the first flurry of female teachers screwing male student stories began, and the jaw dropping nuances of official malfeasance did not make it into the news accounts.

By far most of these stories involve male teachers and female students, but it doesn't take a whole lot of web surfing to find examples of every sort of sexual proclivity and exploitation as it relates to adults in academic positions exploiting their students.   There is a revelatory scene in the movie Election that starred Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon;  Broderick plays a disgruntled teacher trying to thwart the overweening ambitions of Witherspoon an annoying over-achiever running for class president.   A teaching colleague of Broderick's tries to justify his affair with a student, "but, I LOVEEEEEE, HEEEEERRRRRRRR!" He whines when confronted by Broderick's character.

Yeah, it's all about what I want, what I feel, me, me, me.  Sexual exploitation of children and persons like your clients is all about narcissism.  That's why it's sometimes criminal, frequently malpractice and always wrong.

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