Court OKs sex between teachers, 18-year-olds

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by MuscleCarHeart, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. This ought to be fun

    SEATTLE - Washington state law does not bar teachers from having consensual sex with 18-year-old students, an appeals court ruled Tuesday in dismissing a case against a former high school choir teacher.

    The teacher, Matthew Hirschfelder, was charged with first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor for allegedly having sex with a Hoquiam High School senior in 2006. He challenged a judge's refusal to dismiss his case, arguing the student wasn't a minor because she was 18.

    Hirschfelder, who was 33 at the time, also denies any sexual relationship occurred.

    A three-judge panel of the Washington Court of Appeals unanimously agreed that the case should be dismissed. While the law was written vaguely, a review of legislative history shows that lawmakers only intended to criminalize contact between teachers and 16- or 17-year-old students — not those over 18, the court said.

    "The name of the statute is 'sexual misconduct with a minor,'" said Hirschfelder's attorney, Rob Hill, stressing that the state recognizes that an 18-year-old is no longer a minor.

    The state's code of professional conduct for teachers still prohibits any sexual advance toward or contact with pupils, whatever their age, and teachers can be fired for it. Sexual contact with students younger than 16 is considered child rape or molestation; the age of consent in Washington is 16.

    Appeal considered
    Hirschfelder has not been able to work as a teacher since late 2006, when he was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the school board. He was arrested and charged in spring 2007, after a former choir student told police she had a monthslong affair with him that began shortly before she graduated.

    His case did not go to trial because it was stayed pending the appeals court ruling, Hill said. He has been tuning pianos to make ends meet.

    Grays Harbor County Prosecutor Stew Menefee did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press, but he told The Daily World newspaper of Aberdeen that he would consider appealing to the state Supreme Court.

    Some state legislators are set on changing the law. On Monday, six state representatives introduced legislation that would make it a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum of five years in prison for a teacher to have sex with a student up to age 21, as long as the teacher is five years older than the student and at the same school.

    Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, the main sponsor of the bill, said he offered it at the request of the Richland School District, after a judge dropped a sexual misconduct charge against a Richland High School teacher because the teacher's alleged victim was 18.

    "This is a real concern of mine, and with the court decision today, that just strengthens this bill," Haler said. "We need to protect our students as long as they're in our public schools, irrespective of age."

     
  2. I'm down with that
     
  3. I think it shouldn't be allowed if the student and teacher are in the same school. Too much possibility for conflict of interest, even if they're not in the same class.

    Other than that, if everyone's of legal age...
     
  4. blah blah blah, its ok if the student is 18.
     
  5. whats the age of consent in the rest of the states?
     
  6. Until the teacher starts giving her passing grades regardless of the work she does, or the student claims that if she didn't have sex with him, he was going to give her poor grades, etc. I guess it could be argued it's on them if it comes to that, but I think the school itself should just protect themselves from these things by declaring it not allowed.

    Imagine if your school district had to fork over millions of dollars for a settlement in a lawsuit or something, and then had to cut teacher salaries to cover the cost.
     
  7. or imagine if you got to bang allthe hot teachers you masturbated to. I think thats the better deal, and worth the lawsuits
     
  8. yea, hot teachers are RARE i believe...
     
  9. i have low standards
     
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  11. Don't get me wrong - if my teacher were decent looking and hot for my cock, I'd give it to her in exchange for good grades. I'm just surprised that the school and the the county were OK with it.
     
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  14. actually, IMO as long as the teacher isn't teaching the student it shouldn't matter is it's the same school
     
  15. That still leaves the possibility that the student could end up with a class taught by that teacher. Plus it would be a huge distraction for both the teacher and the student were at the same school.
     
  16.  
  17. sweet, I should become a teacher now
     
  18. No child left behind will #$%# you up.
     
  19. WHAT NEXT GAY MARRIAGE
     
  20. but there's lots of hot 18yo high school girls.
     
  21. Maybe now I will reconsider getting my teaching degree.
     
  22. Exactly. I'm pretty sure that all schools have a policy against that anyway, and teachers risk losing their jobs over it, though no legal repercussions come of it if the student was of legal age.
     
  23. That's what the deal here is. Age of consent is 16 but if you are teacher/coach/tutor etc., it's 18.
     
  24. ANIMAL MARRIAGE.
     
  25. only if the animal has a soul
     

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