Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Harem of Buxom 18-year Old High School Seniors and I Would Like to Share a Few Words

Sure, I'm two weeks behind on this one, but Stacy, Stacie, and Stacey asked that I blog about it, so hey!

You've probably heard of the case of Matthew Hirschfelder, a piece of crap who taught choir in Hoquiam and was 33 when he began a sexual relationship with an 18 year old student. He was drummed out of the profession, as he should have been, but the outstanding question was to decide whether what he did was criminal. The girl, after all, was 18, and as the WEA correctly pointed out in their amicus brief to the appelate court there was some ambiguity to the law.

This, of course, pushed the EFF over the edge:

The WEA doesn't care that the teacher was in a position of authority over the student or that the victim was possibly coerced by that authority, only that the student was 18, so it shouldn't count.
...which requires a very jaundiced reading of the situation, but that's also to be expected.

It gets better, though, when the Court of Appeals goes and says that the WEA was right. Mike Reitz gets his outrage on:

Legal victory for the WEA: Teachers can have sex with 18 year old students

....which is a weak, pathetic, maudlin attack line that ignores the reality that the teacher in question still lost his job and will not teach in Washington State again.

Similarly:
...all of which ignore the piece that even if it isn't illegal, it's still a violation of the Professional Code of Conduct for Teachers. To wit:

WAC 181-87-080 SEXUAL MISCONDUCT WITH STUDENTS.

Unprofessional conduct includes the commission by an education practitioner of any sexually exploitive act with or to a student including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) Any sexual advance, verbal or physical;

(2) Sexual intercourse as defined in RCW 9A.44.010;

(3) Indecent exposure as defined in RCW 9A.88.010;

(4) Sexual contact, i.e., the intentional touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a student except to the extent necessary and appropriate to attend to the hygienic or health needs of the student;

(5) PROVIDED, That the provisions of this section shall not apply if at the time of the sexual conduct the participants are married to each other.
Rep. Larry Haler out of the Tri-Cities has introduced HB1385, which would close the loophole. I think it's a bill we all should support, and I hope that it passes and becomes law. He's taking the right approach--actually fixing the problem, instead of shifting the blame. Bravo, Rep. Haler.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a heads-up that it was never proven that the teacher did, in fact, have a sexual relationship with the student. The teacher has maintained his innocence all along and many students, including friends of the student in question, have rushed to his defense. It appears to be a he-said, she-said scenario.

10:40 AM  

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