The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

November 8, 2012

Our View: Kansas ruling welcome

A Kansas law prohibiting sexual contact between teachers and adult students will stand following a ruling Wednesday from the Kansas Court of Appeals.

It is yet another confirmation that teachers are expected to be the adults, establish a professional relationship with students and inspire students to learn.

A former Wichita Northwest High School choir teacher challenged his conviction for having consensual sex with an 18-year-old student. He was 30 at the time. His contention was that he should be held to the same standards as university professors.

Thank you, Kansas judges, for the decision. We have another name for teachers who engage in sex with their 18-year-old students: We call them predators.

The court wrote that the circumstances are “hardly comparable” to those that exist between college professors and students. High school attendance is mandatory while college attendance is voluntary. The court also stressed that most K-12 students are minors.

Teachers who try to justify their bad actions have no business being in the classroom. School systems and parents that seek to prosecute are doing the right thing.

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