Rough draft rewritten....

I don't normally delete my posted blogs, but I did today. We should all have a chance to do a rewrite.  I bet there is a certain BRRSD teacher who wishes he could have that opportunity right about now - and I'm sure there is a 15 year old girl here in 08807 who is rethinking her actions as well...

I'm very conflicted about the latest news about a teacher sexting a picture of his junk to a student... I think it is awful. But I find myself wondering about the 15 year old girl too. Doesn't she know it's stupid to send pictures of herself to a teacher? Maybe I'm blaming the victim, much as a jury may hear the biased testimony about what a girl was wearing in a rape case... but maybe I'm blaming her parent for not instilling a sense that it is wrong to send pictures of yourself to a teacher.

In my original blog I compared a teacher whom I've known for many years, Mr. C with the BRRSD teacher.  Mr. C was fired about 15 years ago for writing poetry to a student. This came as a shock to me because I knew his family. I knew his wife and kids (who were older than the student and who had attended this high school) and I saw the humiliation they had to - and possibly still have to - live through after this very public event. The local newspaper had a field day! (And the Courier News has yet to publish anything on this week's incident - at least online).

I realize that I am essentially over my judgment of Mr. C's stupid mistake from many years ago, but I still judge this teacher. At the same time, I realize that despite quotes to the contrary, his family is also a victim of his stupidity. Don't shit where you eat!

Had this happened with my daughter would I punish her for sending pictures or would I sue the teacher's sorry ass? I can hear the whispers behind my back in Wegmans "oh, I just knew something like this would happen - you see how short her dresses are". This girl's parents are victims too! A 51 year old man sent pictures of his penis to their 15 year old daughter. There's only one word for this: disgusting.

You can't equate bad poetry and sexual imagery. They just aren't the same thing. So is the fact that I've stopped judging Mr. C indicative that I will someday do the same for the BRRSD teacher?

He didn't rape her. So what are the circumstances where judgment is warranted? I'm not perfect. So is it ever OK to judge from my high horse? And what restitution can be done for any of the involved parties? He lost his job and presumably the respect of his family and the Bridgewater community.

In my house the 15 year old would have lost cell phone privileges.... at least that is how I feel today.

It makes you think - there are so many sides to this story. What makes a 15 year old think it is OK to send a picture to a teacher? What makes her teacher think he could have any non-teacher/student relationship with her? What about his relationship with his wife? Does she pull a Hillary and stick with him or does she have a long, public divorce? If I thought it were less likely to happen at a different high school, I'd send my kids elsewhere - but this power trip between an older teacher and a younger girl ingrained in our culture. It's OK to portray relationships between older men and younger women in the media... and I can't make a cultural change so drastic that this suddenly becomes taboo...

One of my closest friends dated a 35 year old when she was 15. He cooked her steak dinners and they listened to classical music... they also did a lot of drugs (so she could manage school all day, homework and then a double life with him all night long sans sleep), and I'm sure other things. She certainly did not feel victimized.  Had she had a cell phone, I'm quite sure she would not have thought twice about sending him a little something-something. I still don't see her as a victim, even though I probably should.

I was about 15 years old when this song was popular. What did I think then as a 15 year old? I actually lamented because we didn't have a single cute teacher in the entire high school!!! Was I an oppressed girl? I wouldn't have thought so...... but I bet my parents would have seen a potential incident very differently. "Dillusions of grandeur" my friend recently called it - a 15 year old girl who is convinced she is an equal with her 51 year old teacher.

So differently I see it now. It's wrong! Let's hope that this BRRSD 15 year old girl sees this "opportunity" as a rewrite. A clean slate and a new start and finds a more appropriately-aged boy friend next time. Let's hope this former teacher finds a job where he isn't teaching kids. At least HE should know better even if society has inundated him with images depicting otherwise.

Comments

Jem said…
I love it: which is worse, poetry or penis? Times have changed, haven't they? Who does this teacher think he is? Brett Favre?

Thanks for sharing the video. I love that song and I loved that Sting is wearing a "The Beat" t-shirt. As a 15 year-old, I had very romantic feelings for Sting.

The problem is the over-sexualization of children these days. And our parents thought our tube-tops and Dove shorts were bad! Egad!

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