Teacher-Student Sex - Legal at Age 18?

Filed under: In The News

When a 33-year-old teacher allegedly has a months-long sexual affair with a senior in his high school, he has to realize that he's doing something wrong. But according to a Washington appeals court, the affair was technically legal.

That was Matthew Hirschfelder's argument when his case went to court, that -- though he never touched the girl, of course -- even if it were true (but it's not, of course), the law doesn't specifically say that sex with an 18-year-old student is illegal.

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In an astounding turn of events, the appeals court agreed with him. The law is vague, they say, but really only protects 16 and 17-year-old students from teacher sexual misconduct because they are still minors. Kids who've turned 18 are, apparently, fair game.

If I was a parent living in Washington, I'd want this law changed now. Yes, 18-year-olds are technically adults, but they are very, very new adults, and that teacher/student relationship puts them in a vulnerable position. I mean, if it's true love, can't you wait a few months until after graduation? (But not with my kid, buster!)

What do you think? Should the wording in this law be changed to protect kids who reach eighteen before graduation, or does adulthood start at age 18, even if it's your new boyfriend's job to grade your homework?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.