Why then…


Another Kansas teacher has been fired for having an unlawful relationship with a student. And as a result, principals all across the state are doing what they’ve always done to prevent this from happening in the future: Absolutely nothing!

Are you fucking kidding me? This shit has been out of control for a while, and it simply makes absolutely no fucking sense!  (Sorry for the strong language, but this is getting dangerous.)

Romeo’s “Why then…” soliloquy in Romeo & Juliet is meant to be confusing. None of those things makes sense. But in this speech, the confusion is intentional; it’s a list of metaphors which illustrate the emotional inconsistencies and confusion swirling in Romeo’s mind. This soliloquy is his attempt at getting a handle on his own thoughts, but without success; life is making no sense to him, and he can’t figure out what to do about it.

Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!

When I saw on the news that another teacher was arrested for hooking up with a student, I nearly lost my damn mind. I’m not sure why this particular time bothered me more, but it did. I wish I could talk to these teachers. I wish I could stand in front of them and show them what happens when they do this shit, before they make the same choices I did. I want to stand there and show them exactly what a ruined career and a ruined life looks like. I offered to do this before I went to prison in 2012, but the educational establishment essentially told me, “No, you’re not wanted!”

Why then…

Why do they refuse to solve this problem, or even try? Why are schools doing absolutely nothing to address this issue? Clearly it should be common sense for teachers not to hook up with students, right? However, it isn’t exactly working out that way.

So by all means, school officials, keep your heads in the sand. Because for every teacher we see on the news, there are two or three teachers who have been dealt with “quietly” and dozens who have flat-out gotten away with it. This is a disease – an epidemic – that no one wants to deal with, and it is slowly taking its toll.

Don’t vow to protect the students while ignoring the very problem that puts them at risk. This “misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms” has created the illusion of safety, yet no one can see the fire because of all the smoke.

Just to be perfectly clear: I do not blame the administration for what I did, regardless of what the ignorant Internet comments want to claim. That’s just ridiculous. I didn’t make the choices I made because they didn’t tell me not to hook up with a student. However, the time has come to be proactive. The time has come for someone to step forward and state the obvious, because it certainly seems that it isn’t so obvious anymore.

The longer that schools ignore this issue, the more teachers we will see on the news with their most recent sex scandal.

Clearly, this is a problem. Yet no one seems to be doing anything to address it.

My choices were my fault and no one else’s. But if I had the chance to say something to someone that would change their perspective and prevent them from making the same choice I did, I would seize that opportunity in a heartbeat. I can’t change what I did, but maybe I can say something or write something that can prevent an instance of this in the future. And if just one teacher changes his/her perspective, it is all worth it.

But that’s not what schools want. School administrators think their school is under control. Principals think they’ve got it handled.

…serious vanity…

JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPALS: Do something to address this issue! This is happening in your school, right now, as I type this sentence. I knew about instances of teacher/student relationships long before I ever crossed that line myself. And I will forever regret not speaking up, because both teachers have gotten away with it and are still teaching. But the established culture among the faculty was clear: “I see nothing; I hear nothing; I know nothing.” And I certainly wasn’t the only teacher who knew.

That’s the key. The culture as-a-whole must be changed. And before that can happen, the issue must be pulled from the shadows and thrust to center stage. Make it an issue among the faculty. If it remains a hush-hush issue, then it will keep happening in hush-hush manners. But if it becomes a forward and public issue among all faculty, perhaps it will quash the inclinations of teachers who seem to think that a relationship with a student is somehow secretly permissible. Because judging by the number of teachers hitting the news lately, “secretly permissible” seems to be the general perspective, as long as no one gets caught.

It’s sad when someone like me must be the voice of reason.

Do something about this.