In case you don’t watch the news, every day another teacher is getting slapped with a jail sentence for trying to engage in inappropriate behavior with one or more of their students, yet even with the overwhelming amount of arrests, the epidemic continues.
Alabama in particular appears to be struggling when it comes to incidents of student-teacher relationships. They not only have the highest incident rate in the country, but recently a bill was even introduced into their State Senate that would require teachers go through training on how NOT to have sex with their pupils.
Committee chairman Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery, put it best:
“The whole thing is absurd,” Brewbaker said this week. “We’re to the point where we have to tell teachers to keep their hands off of students? I mean, come on.”
Brewbaker said he was 22 when he was teaching 17 and 18 year olds.
“I knew to leave the people in the little desks alone,” he said. “Teachers who have inappropriate relations with students aren’t doing it because they don’t know it’s wrong.”(via)
Despite all of this, three teachers have had their lawyers come forward to fight for the contrary. Carrie Witt, Nick Heatherly, and Robert Tuten’s attorneys have filed a motion to overturn the current law prohibiting consensual sex between students and teachers, and while we can’t be sure of their thought process, it probably has something to do with them hoping the judge would agree with them.
Thankfully, he did not.
“Constitutional liberties may be restrained when the state has a legitimate interest in doing so,” the judge wrote in his ruling. “The classic example is, while American citizens enjoy the freedom of speech, one cannot yell fire in a crowded movie theater. Freedom of speech can be restricted.”
Judge Craig also cited a ruling in a Minnesota case that said, “The State has a strong and legitimate interest in the welfare of its young citizens, whose immaturity, inexperience, and lack of judgment may sometimes impair their ability to exercise their rights wisely.”
Craig wrote that the state should protect the “sacredness” of the school setting.(via)
In other words: no you moron, stop trying to corrupt our children and get back in your jail cell.