GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Jamila Williams, a former math teacher in the Grand Rapids public school district, has been sentenced to 8-15 years in prison for having sex with four of her teenage male students, according to MLive.com.
There’s nothing terribly unusual about that these days. Many experts agree that teacher molestation of students has increased dramatically in K-12 schools in recent years, despite the reluctance of the mainstream media to address the issue.
But a comment Williams made in court does deserve further examination.
She reportedly apologized during her sentencing, but insisted she didn’t “prey on” the boys, according to the news report.
What utter nonsense. She was the adult authority figure. They were the children in her charge. Predators use their power and influence to get what they want from young, naïve and powerless people.
Of course she preyed on them.
Doesn’t anybody take responsibility for their actions anymore? Does the muddled morality of modern society allow molesters to somehow rationalize their behavior to themselves?
Teachers play extremely significant roles in the development of youngsters. They frequently spend more time with children than parents do and are looked upon as role models. Students need teachers who are interested in helping them mature, emotionally and intellectually. Teachers are supposed to be guides and mentors, not peers who share the same bed.
Teachers are college graduates, which means they’ve studied the emotional development of adolescents. They should know that kids may be physically mature enough to engage in sex, but most lack the necessary emotional maturity.
In short, they have the equipment, but they’re not qualified to use it in any sort of responsible way.
We have a right to expect teachers to have enough self-control to keep their hands off students, particularly during the years they are in their care. The law rightfully expects teachers to keep potentially inappropriate relationships (like molesting) from developing.
If teachers lack that sort of maturity and self- control, they shouldn’t be teachers in the first place.
By Steve Gunn at EAGnews.org