Under a Texas law passed three years ago, teachers who have sex with their students may be convicted of a felony and sent to prison for The boy in question was 18. Amy Mc Elhenney, age 25, was arrested on May 25 for allegedly having sex with one of her male students at Hebron High School in Carrollton, Texas.Teachers have power over students, which undercuts the notion that consent can be given freely; we control their lives, which means it's not fair to the individual student, or to the other students in the class; it's an abuse of the teacher's power, and compromises both the real and perceived fairness of that student's grades and of any overall curve in the class. Obviously, the younger the student, the worse the injury, but abuse of power is about power, not age.
If a boy should consider himself lucky to be the object of a teacher's attentions, then what does that say about the boy who complains?
The widespread view that it is only women or girls who have legitimate claim on the state to protect their sexuality is what has left both male-on-male and female-on-male claims of sex abuse in a sort of never-neverland, where there are barely no statistics, few recorded cases, and yet we all know that there are far more instances of abuse than officials recount.
Second, it ignores the power relationship between the woman and her student, which makes this different from the usual male-female relationship, and puts the boy on a different footing.
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.
But give me a good-looking woman teacher, and the locker room jokes begin. The locker room humor is dangerous on at least three counts."Wish I'd had a teacher like that in school," men say. First, it demeans male sexuality as unworthy of protection, without regard to age.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. It's a particularly easy question where the state, in this case Texas, has passed a simple and straightforward law that makes it a crime, without regard to the age or gender of the student. But when the bill came to the floor of the house, it was amended, and the age provision was dropped. If he had not been a student, he would have been considered a consenting adult. When the Texas law was originally drafted, it was limited to students 17 years of age and under.