During the last few weeks, several Utah teachers have joined the growing national coterie of teachers having sex with kids. They’ve confessed, or been caught, and all have been prosecuted.
They’re all women.
This is very different from the days when the male chemistry teacher cornered teen girls in the supply room and molested them. Many of these female teachers are having ersazt affairs with young boys, meeting at homes and in cars, like “grown-up” affairs.
I’ve been thinking about the reasons for this rash of rash behavior, although as a teacher I can’t quite understand it–and as a professional I cannot possibly condone it. Still, I think there are cultural factors which are feeding it.
For one, we refer yet again to Jean Twenge’s groundbreaking research in Generation Me. Almost all of the errant teachers are young–twenties, thirties–and so they fit the Generation Me profile: entitled, self-indulgent, impulsive, not believing that rules really pertain to them. In addition, many of them are unmarried–a bad combination: lonely Generation-Me ladies in charge of hormonal boys infused with all kinds of pornographic images from the internet and movies–including images of hot affairs with older ladies.
Although I’m older than most of my students’ moms and almost old enough to be their grandmother, my junior high and high school students still hit on me, sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly: “Gosh, Mrs. Wilson, if I were just a couple of years older. . .” (Yeah, right: try forty years). It is a strange phenomenon, little boys trying to get it on with the teacher–and teachers crossing that formerly set-in-stone boundary with little boys. What used to be an adolescent fantasy has turned into a legal nightmare, as teen hormonal madness merges with Generation-Me teacher lunacy.
The life-shattering outcome is that these young female teachers are losing their jobs–that’s a given–but even worse, they are branded as sexual predators on the National Sex Offender Registry, a taint that will haunt them all the rest of their lives.