Education in Alabama just got a lot more complicated now that teachers can legally have sex with their students. An Alabama judge has just let a teacher off the hook for sleeping with a student with a controversial ruling, and now, most law-abiding Americans are shocked at the decision that’s setting a disturbing precedence. However, before Alabama’s educators decide to take a romp with their students, they should be aware that there’s a catch — but it’s certainly not alleviating the concerns of some angry parents.
An Alabama judge has ruled that it’s unconstitutional for state law to ban sex between school employees and students under the age of 19. There have been two previous cases that went viral, which sparked the judge’s decision to overturn the law.
Carrie Witt, a 44-year-old teacher, was accused of having sex with two students ages 17 and 18 which was illegal at the time, but now, her charges are being dropped. In the second case, a 27-year-old teacher aide, David Solomon, was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student. In both cases, it’s been ruled that the statute, under which they were accused, violated the equal protection rights of citizens.
Originally, if a teacher had sex with a student, especially a student of such a young age, the teachers would be registered as sex offenders and could potentially be locked up in prison for up to 20 years. Now, Morgan County Circuit Court Judge Glenn Thompson has ruled that if the student is at the age of legal consent, which is 16, then that could be employed as a defense.
“It is this court’s finding that the law grants these students the capacity to consent until and unless there is some showing that authority was used to obtain illegitimate or coerced consent,” wrote Judge Thompson in the decision, according to Young Cons. “If no such position of authority is alleged, the defendant must be permitted to show consent as a defense.”
According to Judge Thompson, it is unconstitutional to prevent teachers from having sex with students who are of the age of consent because it removed consideration of consent, meaning the only way it would be illegal is if prosecutors could prove a teacher used his or her “position of authority” to “coerce, groom, or otherwise obtain the illegitimate consent of the alleged victims.”
“The court acknowledged that a disparity of power may inherently exists in a teacher/student relationship, but it clearly does not exist in every school employee and every student regardless of where that student is enrolled,” wrote the judge, according to Biz Pac Review.
In the case of teacher Carrie Witt, she did not directly oversee the student that she had sex with, which apparently makes it okay. Although the judge explained that he does not “approve” of the actions of the teacher/student relations, by overturning the law, he makes it clear he does approve, giving parents no legal recourse when an educator abuses their position of trust.
Now, it is no longer illegal for a teacher to have sex with their students in the state of Alabama if he or she is the age of consent, thanks to Judge Thompson, but most reasonable people know that 16-year-olds are in no position to be making rational decisions. Teachers who witness their immature behavior on a regular basis should be the first to understand this. That is the reason we have age requirements on so many things; namely, to make sure we are old enough to make the best decision possible regarding the situation. As grown adults who should know better, these teachers should be held responsible for their actions and put in jail for having sex with kids.