Public support of a teacher who has sex with his student

Allison Stevens —  November 22, 2010 — 12 Comments

Had no idea what to write about this morning until I read my online local newspaper this morning.  Headline:  Supporters of teacher who had sex with student flood judge.

A 32-year old teacher had sex with one of his 15-year old students (at a Christian school!) and he was sentenced to 8 to 40 years in prison. He cried in the courtroom saying how sorry he was for what he’d done.  He received over 100 letters of support from people around the country, asking the judge for leniency. According to the newspaper, principals, teachers, nurses, and youth workers wrote letters stating that this teacher was not a predator, not a monster, not a long-term threat, but could continue to have a positive impact on other’s lives. They apparently wrote that he is one of the best teachers they’ve ever seen and that their children benefited from having him as their teacher. One person wrote that he thinks he is a model of Christian faith, despite his actions. Parents and students apparently loved this guy; they didn’t know what side of the courtroom to sit on, they said, because they wanted to support both the teacher and the student. Right.

Did anyone care about how the victim and her family might feel?

Apparently not. The people gushed over this teacher. One woman said that she would have her children be in his classroom in a heartbeat. She thinks he’s just a man who lost his way and that nothing good will come from his being in jail.

No, no one who loves this man cares one bit about this young girl. The newspaper reports that the victim and her family feel ostracized. Of course they do!  They feel completely abandoned and alone. She’s left the school and attending another.

Isn’t it ironic that the victim is the one they’ve left by the side of the road and they run to the one who “beat her up” and left her there? Is it because he’s crying and saying he’s sorry? What, do they want her to stand up real quick, dust herself off, and say, “Oh, Mr. So-and-so, it’s OK, I know you’re sorry. I forgive you.”

What about this girl?!  She’s hurting!  He hurt her! What about her pain? I’m sickened and appalled at these people who call themselves Christians who are so open and public about their support of this man who hurt her! They’re willing to sacrifice this young girl so that they can protect this man. I don’t even know what to say about this except that this is evil at work.

They should be open about their support of this girl, not this man who took advantage of one of his students. The victim’s father asked a pointed question of the two pastors’s who wrote letters of support for the teacher. He asked if it was their 15 year old daughter that he had sex with, if they would have asked the judge for mercy.  Neither pastor responded. Hm. That says a lot doesn’t it. Where is the love?

Sexual assault, rape, incest, sexual abuse; these all carry with it such a deep level of shame. The blame immediately goes inward. And to make it all worse, people like the supporters of this teacher blame the victim. They blame the victim by publicly supporting the man.

Allison Stevens

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12 responses to Public support of a teacher who has sex with his student

  1. This was posted on the newspaper’s facebook page last week and a man left a comment about the “Christians” not supporting the girl. I responded to that post by saying that I was a Christian and was totally disappointed by the lack of support for this young girl, the victim. This trusted teacher took away her youth. It’s great he’s sorry, but is he just sorry that he got caught? Regardless, there are consequences to our choices and his is to go to prison…and to live with this for the rest of his life. Hers is to live in a prison without bars and to seemingly be condemned by “Christians” by their lack of support for her and her family. I’m embarassed for those who openly support this teacher and yet leave the victim to suffer alone.

  2. Publicly supporting the man is not equivalent to blaming the victim. Asking a judge for mercy is very different from saying that the girl was seducing the teacher or some such statement. I do not think it is right to judge other peoples’ acts of compassion as evil. I think they are trying to make the best of an awful situation. Are they supposed to condemn the man? Are they doing it in the best possible way or the way you think is best? I dont know but to me I think it shows that they know that we have all sinned and fall short. Maybe they should show the girl more public support, however this post has a condescending, judgmental tone that I find inappropriate and unpersuasive.

    Maybe my cold logic is getting in the way.

  3. I appreciate this blog post and here is why.

    Evil has found a way of slipping into society with hardly a glance of acknowledgement from most people. Many may recognize it for what it is but are frequently unwilling to call it what it is.
    I’m one of them, or used to be. I’d guess that the majority of people would, if able, give support to this girl who was raped by a trusted adult, who was also her teacher. I’m not even sure the christian part matters that much. Christian or non are equally capable of preying on an innocent young girl (or boy). But who’s support was most noted and publically displayed? The perp’s. Really? Is this guy going to need some support from people who care about him. Probably, yes, and that’s cool. How about letting him sit in the consequences of his own making for a little bit? After all, the guy took advantage of and raped a 15 yr. old girl. Maybe he’s a great guy but this wasn’t a little screw up. This wasn’t something that impacts just him, or his ministry or job. He’s done more than rape this girls body. He has started her on a road of shame,guilt (yea, she’s going to feel guilt), questioning every move she makes, questioning whether she can really trust anyone, questioning whether god would ever care about or want her and the list has just begun. He didn’t just rape her body. He raped her soul for all intents and purposes.

    He stole her innocence, her sense of security, her ability to truly rest. If she’s really lucky and has a lot of support there for her, she may enjoy some semblence of a normal healthy rest of her childhood and as an adult. Even so, this will mark her heart forever. Get that… forever. In some way shape or form she will live with this. When she meets a boy who she likes and may want to date. When she starts thinking about marraige. i don’t care what kind of support she gets, there will always be a struggle. Maybe it will get easier, maybe she’ll heal, maybe she’ll never tell a soul about what she’s feeling. But she will feel it.

    Please consider the situation and the way it could and should be handled and the way it has been handled. This girl is hurting and her family is hurting. Perhaps this guy does feel remorse. He may be suffering his own pain knowing what he’s done. I hope so. Getting caught can really bring that on. In the background he will need people who walk with him as he rightfully pays for his crime. Note: In the background. Public support? Are you kidding me? All should be on behalf of this girl. Preachers (and many others)publically supporting him and going on about what a wonderful guy he is so please go easy on him? This may be strong but they are causing horrible damage to the family they are supposed to be teaching the love of god to? Is that what they’re getting out of it? Forgiveness? Love? Judge not lest ye be judged? C’mon. They are getting the message that her pain and her families pain is far less important than the pain of their buddy. Have they written a letter to the judge declaring the trauma that this girl has suffered and to please exact justice? Would you dare consider that this could be your 15 year old daughter, niece, sister, grandaughter or best friends little girl? take a minute and think about it. Fifteen. She is a child.

    Background. Not begging the judge to grant leniency. A harsh sentence, which is deserved, doesn’t mean condemning and turning your back. This families lives have been slammed and uprooted and then they have to leave because the leaderships support is going to the man who commited the crime. can you fathom the pain that this would cause?

    I’m sorry but this blog is not judgemental. it is not condescending. It’s an honest and wonderful showing of something called righteous anger. Something that few people have the cahonies to actually show. Something that I didn’t even know was possible not long ago. Yup, the writers angry. Never stated the guy should burn in hell. Stated what should be the obvious to anyone who has a desire to see justice and anyone who cares a lick about a little girl who has had her world rocked and who may never be able to hold her head up and look you in the eye.

    Once again, who is the support going to in this previous post. The predator. Whether intentional or not, that’s how it reads.

    Righteous Anger.

    Try it on. I’m pretty sure Jesus did.

    Thank you for this post because it speaks to the hearts of many who may never have had someone get angry over the harm that was perpetrated on them. I hope this young girls family finds this site and your blog.
    I appreciate your willingness to speak up and be real. It may be the only support they experience.

    Bob, your post was a bit harsh. I get why you responded the way you did, or at least to some degree I do. But maybe you could do a re-read, and consider the heart of the writer.

  4. To Bob:
    I totally understand what you are saying but the point is that they should have also supported the girl and her family just as much. This girl might walk away from Christianity because of this now.

  5. Why is it that they should have supported her too? There should not be a too in this equation. A 32 year old MAN raped a 15 year old GIRL. Whether there was agreement or not is beside the point. She is a child and he is an adult in a position of authority. Cindy, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    We are to forgive others and hate the sin and not the person. We also can’t turn a blind eye to what is going on. It’s easy to forgive and have compassion on someone we know and care about. We have seen all to often in the media that compassion is not easily extended to those who have been painted as a villian. Sin is sin and forgiveness is forgiveness, regardless of the form in front of us.

    Great post Allison.

  6. This is a critically important discussion. Most don’t grasp the gravity of devastation that sexual abuse inflicts on the body, heart, mind, and soul of it’s victims. Sexual abuse is not about sex. It’s not about consent. It’s about the abuse of power, position, authority, and control for the purposes of exploiting another person who is made in God’s image. In essence it’s an assault against the image of God. Sex simply is the weapon used to perpetrate the vicious assault. And if anyone should be outraged by that kind of assault and an advocate for the victims it should be Christians. Cindy’s so right! Bebi’s right too. Allison, thanks for opening this door for deeper discussion and understanding.

  7. Something has happened to a girl who is very close to me. Her uncle, who was worship leader and taught her Sunday school class sometimes, who was supposedly living the Christian life, exposed himself to her and did some other obscene things in front of her when she was 8 yrs. old. The girl didn’t tell her mom until she was 15. His wife wanted to just brush it under the carpet, but the girl and her family prosecuted him. He took a plea and did not do jail time, was not put on Megan’s law, either. And has returned to the family’s church and mostly has been smoothed over. Meanwhile, the girl and her family moved on to another church. Yes, the girl has relationship and anger problems, yes, she feels guilty as her aunt has totally written her off for turning her husband in. In this case, also, the pervert seems to have won. Praise God for opening the door of a very fine Christian fellowship at the new church, a people of Truth. My hope is that the girl will totally heal from what has happened to her.

  8. Cindy, thank you for your righteous anger. You were right, there are too many CHILDREN, that no one has spoken up for. People they have trusted for guidence and support, or even love, and were USED for that persons selfish desires. Those CHILDREN will have a difficult time in the most perfect senerios of love and support to lead a sence of a “normal” life. But with the chaos as was in the original post, and yet, POSING in the name of our Lord! I honestly don’t see anything of the love of the God of the bible happening there. It’s as if they are parading the accuser on thier shoulders and stoning the victim! I don’t see Jesus there! But I do know He is there for the girl and her family! Nothing or no one can take them from His hands. I pray that they feel Him daily and hear all of our prayers and look to Him for all of thier strength and guidence. Through this HE WILL bring them closer and stronger to HIM. Thank you God!

  9. As an Indonesian Christian I keep wondering how could the majority of Christians in the school area support the perp instead of the victim. Such kind of public attitude , which represents liberal Christian view will be very unlikely to happen in my country where conservative/traditional view prevails.
    I think the media especially the Internet contributes a lot in shaping the world view of American Christians. There are some pornographic sites displaying sex acts between students and teachers,laymen and nuns, patients and doctors, children and adults. Free sex is practiced everywhere, even inside the church itself.As we know, pornography degrades woman and sex is sexist (always put men in the advantage), no wonder, the rape victim does not receive any support and even shunned by her church and school.The Americans have been deluded by the media into thinking that women is just sex objects who have no feeling but only a tool to satisfy their sexual feelings.

  10. Signs of the time when you can’nt tell the difference between the church and the world. Next thing these people who warp the HOLY WORD of GOD will do is start a support group for Judas. He did after all give JESUS a kiss on the check. I think they used to call it a stab in the back. OPPS, was that politically incorrect oh well I would rather be spiritually in right standing before GOD.

    Pray for the girl and her family.

  11. I too feel so sad toward the 15 years old girl, shame on the teacher for what he did, and by all mean he should pay for his wrong, I feel that our God is very merciful Jesus told the woman who was brought to Jesus for adultry go and sin no more, my prayers for the girl and her family for healing and favor from others .

  12. The girl will will not trust men, and most likely feel betrayed by the church and other family members. She will think Christians are a fraud because she was abused by one. She will need to find it in her heart to forgive and get help before she loses her self esteem and let’s others abuse her.

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