As teachers unions across the country fight against congressional legislation to improve background checks on teachers, the Massachusetts Teachers Association is still in the process of “reviewing” a bill going through the state’s legislature that would outlaw sex between teachers and students below the age of nineteen. The bill would also outlaw sex between students and other employees and volunteers of public school districts, independent schools, and youth organizations. Offenders would be fined $10,000 and/or be given a 5-year prison sentence if convicted.
“The Massachusetts Teachers Association’s priority is always to protect students and the educational environment,” the union said in a statement to Fox News. “While we are still examining the many components of this proposed legislation, we understand that its intent is to help ensure that our schools are nurturing places for students to learn and grow.”
State Senator Joan Lovely, who is sponsoring the legislation, is actively seeking support for the bill from the teachers union. It is a bill that would empower the criminal prosecution of educators who target students 16 and older. Currently, Massachusetts state law views 16 as the legal age of consent.
The trend of teachers having sex with students has become so commonplace that it has gained street cred on the Internet with sites cataloging 50 Hot Teachers That Slept With Their Students and The 50 Most Infamous Teacher Sex Scandals. So many female teachers have been convicted of sexual dalliances with students that Fox News compiled a slideshow on the subject for quick reference.
Massachusetts police have dubbed the bill a “giant step forward” in terms of being able to prosecute predatory teachers. Police Chief Steven Wojnar is actively campaigning for the bill to be passed, observing that:
Victims suffer greatly at the hands of these predators. They can be deemed as some form of outcast in their school and the community. They may be accused of lying, as some people desire to protect the teacher’s reputation, rather than that of the victim. They have the potential to suffer emotional and personal damage which may not be realized for years, if ever.
One victim who is still suffering is the student molested by former teacher Tara Stumph. After being convicted of having sex with a 16-year-old student in California, the former teacher of the year decided to sue the student for defamation of character from her jail cell. Stumph wasn’t very concerned about her character when she “molested [the male student] during and after class and sent nude pictures and sexually explicit videos of herself to him.” It was only after she lost her teaching license that she began to give a damn.
You’d think the Massachusetts Teachers Association would actively seek out the opportunity to set an example by standing up against individuals and behaviors that mar their profession’s reputation. Instead, they’re “reviewing the legislation.” Is that their way of saying they feel compelled to defend dues paying members who might need to sue their victims for the sake of their teaching careers? Or who attempt to claim mental illness in court?