Through a glass darkly

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)KJV

Friday, June 22, 2007

Find Another Dating Pool, Part 2

A year ago, I posted on the tasteless phenomena of teachers dating their students (see post here). I don't know if it's because schools are letting out for the summer, but another one of these icky relationships has been reported in the news this week. Seems this 16 year old track star married her 40 year old coach on Monday. ABC News reported that her parents had gone to school authorities and to the man's pastor to get them to intervene to no avail (there doesn't seem to be law against this behavior in North Carolina where this took place.) What is even more bizarre is that after they were unsuccessful in their bid to stop this, the parents went ahead and gave her written consent to marry the weirdo.

Most everyone connected with the story agreed that the relationship was not right (77% of those in ABC's on-line poll thought it was wrong, too), but they all seemed powerless to do anything. Really? Nothing they could've done? Oh I don't know, the school could've fired the guy for having a romantic relationship with a student, the man's pastor could've thrown him out of the church and refused to perform the wedding, but most of all, the parents could've refused to sign and made her wait until she was 18. The guy did resign from his job, but only after he got the girl to marry him.

The expert quoted in the ABC News story was asked if the girl was old enough to decided: "With most teenagers, they're not sure yet who's who and what's what and what should be done," said Henry Paul, author of the book "Is My Teenager OK?" "It's obviously up to the adult figure to set the boundaries." And that was my point from a year ago: adults in a position of authority should be prohibited from having romantic relationships with their students/counselees/clients/patients/parishioners -period. The adults who allow these relationships to continue share somewhat in the blame for the inevitable marital failure when the young person finally wakes up and wonders how they were sucked in by their Svengali.

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