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Two Laws for Under 18?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member


    Carla Paulsrud, a Milwaukee teacher, did a bad thing. She broke the #1 teacher commandment, thou shalt not boff thy student.

    What's interesting is that at the same time she is being tried for this, her 17 year old victim is being tried as an adult on drug charges.

    Does this make sense? I don't want to defend the teacher, especially since she was in a position in which she worked with young offenders, but I think it shows how messed up our system is when it comes to the two cardinal sins for American society, sex and drugs.
  2. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    I don't think she should be charged at all.

    Here in Texas, the legal age for adulthood is 17, across the board. For the purposes of sexual consent, and for the purpose of criminal responsibility. So the teacher would not have been charged here in my state.

    I think that age is appropriate. I know that at 17, sexual activity for me would have very much been with my full awareness of what was going on, and coercion from an older person would not have been effective if I would not have wanted it. I also know that at 17, I was very aware of any illegal activity I was doing was in fact illegal. Actually, at 17, I was also serving in our armed forces.

    Is it a double standard, being applied in this case? Yep. Either the young man is responsible for himself at this age or he's not.

    Oh, and I might add, the relationship between the young man didn't hurt him one bit. Like this boy would be worse for wear in later years because of this? I don't think so.
  3. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    This is just one of many double standards we have in our laws. One can drive at 16, fight for your country at 18, but can't legally have a beer before going off to fight until you're 21. Even the military installations of bowed to the will of Washington and raised the drinking age to 21 on base as well.

    Granted, if it were my daughter at 17 and a male teacher in this situation, I'd be screaming for the teacher's head (right before I slapped the clip into the M1).
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    "...the relationship between the young man didn't hurt him one bit"

    Unless she had the clap. :)
  5. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    I believe that the age of consent in Wisconsin is 18, so that is why the teacher is being charged.

    However, I do agree with Leon that an odd double standard is being applied in this case.

    Also, according to the local media this morning, there is a major new development in this case. See the article here.

    It seems that the teacher broke the terms of here release from jail by visiting the defendant. Not so major in my opinion, but hey....that's the local news for ya. :)
  6. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    There is a lot of ongoing debate about what age a person should be before they can consent to sex. But I do not see that as the primary case here. We have a teacher and a student having sex. Are we not maybe a little guilty of envy. I had teachers in high school that could have had me. But the fact remains that a teacher in any venue is usually expressly forbidden to engage in relations with a student. A student should not have to be subject to sexual advances or any hope of his/her sexual advances being accepted. It is just too big an opportunity for the student/teacher relationship to be taken advantage of. The issue of minor versus adult has some hypocrisy. But I believe a 16 year knows enough about crime and is still pretty helpless about sex.

    How would we feel if our 16 year daughter, the age the affair began, was being humped by a 31 year old male teacher? Shotguns anybody?
  7. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Oh, come on...
    She's 31, married, and a special ed teacher. She's dealing with kids that are lost and confused to begin with, which is why they are in her classes. She took advantage of a young confused kid in order to get her rocks off. Incorrect behavior.
    While I feel 50 years is way over the top, she should have to do some time and she should have her teaching credentials revoked.

    And you guys should be looking at your double standards....most of the sex between the young girls and their teachers are consentual also. The fact that he "wanted it" has no bearing on it at all. She's the adult. I am quite sure it was her who initiated it, not him.
  8. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    These double standards arise because people are always out for blood at any cost. When was the last time an 18 or 19 year old was charged as a minor? I have never heard of the rule being bent the other way. If it has ever happened, I'm sure JW or Yaz(or anybody else) could point out some examples?

    I think deep down, most of us know that a 17 year old "child" should know the difference between right and wrong and should be able to make decisions about drugs and sex. I am not suggesting that this relationship was, in any way, appropriate, but I think the way people deal with "crimes" such as these is a little over the top. In my opinion, this teacher is guilty only of very poor judgment.

    As for the student, either he is an adult, capable of fending for himself in these matters, or he is an innocent child who knows no better. Pick one, and stick with it. Inconsistencies like these really get on my nerves.
  9. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Cyd's right - putting aside what this teacher did, when you reverse the sexes in the situation, you start to feel outrage. But because it was a 17 year old boy and 31 year old woman, the boy isn't going to be negatively affected by this? Could it be because a 17 year old boy, as cop put it, is attuned with his sexuality? Why would a 17 year old girl be any different?

    I've got news for you, guys. A female is sexually attuned much younger than that. It doesn't make it right and constitutes rape, but a young female can - and has - gotten into affairs with older males (teachers), and they've grown up just fine. Consent is consent - so the law doesn't recognize the act of consent when it's a young person and rightfully so - young people aren't equipped with the experiences and wisdom to make good decisions. So faulting the adult is perfectly justifiable. However, it doesn't have a negative impact on the younger person because it wasn't against their will. I don't think this relationship would damage either a male or female young person, if under these circumstances.

    Side note - if I were that boy's mother, I'd be taking off my earrings, rings, and shoes and putting my hair up in a pony tail, because me and that c*nt that took advantage of my boy are going to tango.
  10. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    poor judgement....
    do you feel that psychiatrist's also are only exercising poor judgement when having sex with patients?

    IMHO, this 16 year old was in her special ed classes because he wasn't mature enough to be in the "general" population. In her position, she took advantage of a young person. Obviously SHE should be in special ed classes, not teaching them. It might be a wonderful fantasy, but totally incorrect. She's in a position of power. She took advantage of that. What the heck....she's 31 and educated. She should not be teaching. Don't want her to go to jail? Fine. At the very least her teaching credentials should be revoked and she should be having some sort of mandatory counseling. I wouldn't be surprised to find out this wasn't the first time.
  11. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    My problem was never "should this women even be charged?" IMHO, it's obvious that she should be charged.

    However, the double standard I find perplexing is that the teacher is charged with having a sex with a minor, while that minor, is being charged as an adult for drugs.

    How can it go both ways??
  12. Ravenink

    Ravenink Veteran Member

    The idea of consentual sex with a 17 year old is very disturbing to me. I think however what we are dealing with is more a case of professional impropriety rather than criminal intent. The teacher should be fired and the student expelled and that should be the end of it.
  13. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Wait a second - was this kid a special ed student?

    You know, that changes everything for me...
  14. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Yeah! We're gonna kick her ass! :)
  15. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    At university level, I agree dismissal should be enough. At high school and below there should be strong enough penalties that nobody would consider sexual relations with a student. The special education factor only makes this teacher more contemptible.
  16. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    At the university level, a professor can lose tenure if they have a sexual relationship with a student. I believe it applies to a student in one of their courses. Conflict of interest, and that student's grade would be questioned and most likely revoked, because who's to say the student actually earned the grade through their work?

    I may be wrong, but I do believe I read that somewhere.
  17. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    I don't see the conflict with the charges at all...
    She's being charged with having sex with a student, who was only a week or so over 15 years old when it started.

    At 17, he's out there scamming and doin' drugs. The misdemeanor I guess is for the pipes and the felony for selling.
  18. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    "Wait a second - was this kid a special ed student?

    You know, that changes everything for me..."

    How? Make a little more pissed off?
  19. muddly

    muddly Guest

    There is hypocrisy in treating the 17 year old as a minor and an adult at the same time. I agree with that.

    I would not charge the teacher with sex with a minor; I would charge her with some version of "sex with a student" "sex with a person over whom you are in a position of authority" or some other charge that doesn't exist.

    I have no problem with 17 year olds of either sex boffing anyone of any age... including older women (and though I keep stressing it to them, still no takers ;))

    But teachers, sorry guys and gals, you gotta keep hands off no matter who consents. To me there is a problem with the underlying relationship of teacher/student, making consent a little more hard to define. In this case, if the kid was a bit dim, seems even more unethical.

    Same goes for psychiatrists, parole officers, and a bunch of others. I think it's a small sacrifice... these people are paid to exert some measure of control and influence over someone's life. Leave the sex out of it.

    I don't believe it necessarily hurts students to sleep with their teachers any more than it necessarily helps them ;) But I think it's appropriate to forbid those activities until the teacher/student relationship has come to an end.
  20. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Well not only that, but if the student was a special ed student, he doesn't have the mental capacity nor the emotional capacity to understand a sexual relationship. See, I based my whole opinion on the premise that a 17 year old kid, sexually and emotionally, is on about the same level as an 18 or 19 year old. Still young, but more experienced than say someone who's 14 or 15, and better able to handle a consentual sexual relationship, regardless of partner's age. Considering most people lose their virginity around this age, to me it makes sense.

    But a special education student? That's a kid with problems, emotional or mental problems that don't allow that kid to experience life normally or develop normally (I'm of course generalizing here, thinking of moderate to severe mental and emotional problems - not a kid with ADD). After rereading the article more carefully, it turns out this woman was specifically trained to deal with special needs students, and she was also working with troubled teens and juvenile delinquents. In other words, she really should have known better - these aren't normal kids. These are troubled kids that need guidance, not a roll in the sack with the teacher.

    So yes, in short, it pisses me off more :p

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