Thursday, June 15, 2006

Teacher arrested for sex with student...who is legally an adult

In my view, this is ridiculous.
Carrollton Leader Community Editor Crystal Forester appeared live on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” Tuesday at 9 p.m. to discuss details of the ongoing investigation involving a 25-year-old Hebron High School teacher accused of having sexual relations with her 18-year-old student.

Forester broke the story in the May 31 issue of the Leader after the Spanish teacher and cross country coach, Amy McElhenney of The Colony, turned herself into police and was subsequently released on $5,000 bond.

While the student was of legal age, 17-years-old in Texas, McElhenney was arrested under a three-year-old law that makes it illegal for teachers to be engaged in sexual relationships with their students.

If convicted, McElhenney would be charged with a second degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a possible fine up to $10,000, Murphy said.

State Rep. Helen Giddings, D-Dallas, wrote the law in 2003, but she never intended for it to apply to 18-year-old students considered legal, consenting adults. The bill was amended when it reached the floor of the House, criminalizing all relationships between educators, regardless of age. The bill was also changed making the offence a second-degree felony, though Giddings had intended it to be a state jail felony.
Should the teacher have been fired? Yes, because she is in a position of trust and should not be diddling her students. Once they're no longer students, fine. But criminal prosecution for sex between consenting adults?

I wonder if the law will be challenged. I mean, Lawrence v. Texas (what is it about Texas and private consensual sexual practices?) made headlines last year (or the year before, I can't recall) when the SCOTUS ruled that the Texas statute governing $odomy was unconstitutional, due to "right to privacy" concerns. I know there's no constitutional "right to privacy", but take that up with the SCOTUS and not me. The point is, that if two consenting adult dudes can rumproast in the privacy of their own home, why can't a 25-year-old female and 18-year-old male do the horizontal hula?