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Female Teachers Loving Their Students

Some quotes and clippings from the press

1) Female Teachers Accused Of Sex With Male Students Woman In Tennessee Faces 28 Counts

http://www.nbc10.com/news/4179284/detail.html

February 9, 2005

McMINNVILLE, Tenn -- On the same day reports surfaced of a Tennessee teacher facing sex charges, a Texas teacher was also charged with having sex with a male student in a similar case.

The high school teacher in Lumberton, Texas, was arrested for allegedly having an ongoing sexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy.

Kathy Denise White was indicted Tuesday on two counts of an improper relationship between an educator and a student.

She left the jail in Lumberton after posting $5,000 bond, walking past reporters yelling questions.

It's alleged by prosecutors that White had sex with a 17-year-old twice during a four-month relationship: once at home and once at Lumberton High School.

White, 39, faces up to 40 years in prison and a $20,000 fine if convicted.

KBTV in Beaumont reported that the student told administrators in January he was having a relationship with White who, at the time, was his resource teacher.

Charges In Tennessee Case

Also on Tuesday, reports surfaced in McMinnville, Tenn., that an elementary school teacher is charged with having sex with one of her students, a 13-year-old boy, at his home and at school.

Pamela Turner, 27, was charged Monday with 15 counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and 13 counts of statutory rape for acts between November and January.

Turner, who teaches physical education at Centertown Elementary, lived at the boy's house "for a brief period of time when she was moving from residence to residence,'' Warren County prosecutor Dale Potter said.

The boy's parents did not know anything about the relationship, he said.

When asked on NBC's "Today Show" how he would pursue the case, Potter said the investigation would follow standard procedures.

"We (will) pursue it as another sex abuse case. Unfortunately it's one of those things that happen," Potter said. "Either female with male or male with female, society looks at it differently, but we look at it as a sexual abuse case."

Lafave Case Status

Last year, similar allegations against a Florida teacher gained national attention.

In that case, Ocala, Fla., middle-school teacher Debra Lafave faces sexual assault charges for her alleged involvement with a male student.

Lafave's lawyer filed an insanity plea in December after police claimed Lafave was sleeping with a 14-year-old boy.

2) Tenn. Teacher Charged With Sexual Battery

CNN News 2 Feb 2005

McMINNVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An elementary school teacher has been charged with having sex with one of her students, a 13-year-old boy, at his home and at school, authorities said Tuesday.

Pamela Turner, 27, was charged Monday with 15 counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and 13 counts of statutory rape for acts between November and January.

Turner, who teaches physical education at Centertown Elementary, lived at the boy's house "for a brief period of time when she was moving from residence to residence,'' Warren County prosecutor Dale Potter said. The boy's parents did not know anything about the relationship, he said.

Potter said Turner was arrested Monday in Clarkrange, her hometown about 55 miles northeast of McMinnville in central Tennessee.

Conviction on all counts could be punished by up to 100 years in prison. But Potter said it was more likely that a conviction would mean a minimum of a year to several years in prison.

Turner is free on $50,000 bond. She's been placed on leave by the school system.

A telephone message left at the home of her father, who lives in Clarkrange, was not immediately returned Tuesday evening.

Turner's husband filed for divorce in January, alleging inappropriate marital conduct, according to the Southern Standard newspaper in McMinnville.

3) Abuse cases face double standard

USA Today, February 11, 2005

By Charisse Jones 

When a female teacher in Tennessee was charged this week with having sex with a 13-year-old male student, the case focused attention on a type of sexual abuse that often goes unreported.

While there is a greater awareness of such crimes, the Tennessee prosecutor pursuing the recent case, along with several psychologists, say such incidents are still viewed less seriously than those involving grown men and girls.

"Unfortunately, they look at it as the 'Mrs. Robinson syndrome' and think everything is OK," says Dale Potter, district attorney for Warren and Van Buren counties in Tennessee. He was referring to the woman in the 1967 film The Graduate who seduces a younger man.

"But it's my understanding there are some long-term effects for male victims in this kind of situation," he says. "And from my perspective, a sex-abuse case is a sex-abuse case. We don't look the other way as to who the victim is and who the suspect is."

Pamela Turner, 27, an elementary school teacher in McMinnville, Tenn., was charged Monday with having sex with a student at his home and at school.

One of the most publicized cases involved Mary Kay Letourneau, an elementary school teacher in suburban Seattle who spent 7 years in federal prison for having sex with a student that began when he was 12. Letourneau, 43, had two children with the boy, Vili Fualaau, who is now 21. She was released from prison in August.

Another teacher, Debra Lafave, 23, in Florida was arrested in June on charges that she had sex with a 14-year-old student. The number of female sex offenders is "significantly smaller" than male offenders, says Dale Bespalec, chief psychologist at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility and a former sex offender specialist for Wisconsin's Department of Corrections. He says the ratio of male-to-female offenders is about 500-to-1.

Bespalec says some female sex offenders have a deviant sexual attraction to children or are severely mentally ill. But the largest number have "boundary issues" about crossing the edges of appropriate behavior.

"And they're frequently involved in care-giving or situations where those boundaries are more easily traversed," such as teaching, he says.

Boys are also less likely to report abuse than girls, Bespalec says. That's often because boys in general are discouraged from complaining. They could be embarrassed if the abuser is a male. And society is disinclined to believe that women are sexual abusers, he says.

But the impact of sex abuse on boys can be just as devastating as it is for girls.

"There's a betrayal of trust (by) an adult who violated boundaries," says Louis Schlesinger, a
forensic psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

Effects of the abuse can vary, he and other psychologists say, from difficulty forming healthy
relationships to sexual problems. Boys may also suffer among their peers.

"They're subject to humiliation and being made fun of in ways that a female victim may not be," Schlesinger says.

Female offenders also tend to be treated more leniently by the criminal justice system than their male counterparts.

"In some ways, males are likely to be seen as more predatory and females more likely to be seen as having a mental health issue," Bespalec says.

Women are frequently referred to counseling, while men typically serve some time in prison and attend a treatment program for sex offenders, Bespalec says.

Letourneau, for example, was initially given conditional release and told to seek treatment. She had to serve her prison term after being caught again with the student.

Some psychologists also note that Letourneau, Lafave and Turner are attractive women a factor in the amount of publicity their cases received.

"I think people can't quite fathom why somebody so attractive wouldn't go for somebody who has more status and power," says Miriam Ehrenberg, a psychology professor at John Jay College who has specialized in the psychology of women. "So it's a story that piques
people's interest."

4) Florida teacher sentenced to probation, counseling

February 9, 2005

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Court TV) A Broward County teacher avoided jail time and was sentenced to one year probation with psychological counseling for her involvement with one of her middle school students.

Beth Friedman, 42, appeared relieved in court Friday morning after a judge ordered her to undergo counseling for low self-esteem and depression. Friedman also will not be allowed to continue teaching during her probation and will be subjected to random drug and alcohol testing.

Friedman was convicted Dec. 21 of contributing to the delinquency of a male student by supplying him with alcohol and drugs. The student, Donald Vaden, testified at the trial that the teacher offered him gifts in return for sex, but Friedman was found not guilty of the more serious charges of statutory rape.

Judge Stanton Kaplan could have sentenced Friedman to up to a year in jail for the misdemeanor conviction.

Friedman was a teacher at Silver Lakes Middle School in North Lauderdale when allegations surfaced of her affair with a young student. Vaden, who was 15 at the time, testified that the teacher-student relationship developed into a sexual one in 1997. When he eventually confessed to his mother that he was involved with Friedman, she and her son went to the police.

During the trial, however, Vaden's credibility was called into question. A defense witness testified that Vaden told him he planned to "set up" a teacher and needed him to lie and say he saw them kissing.

The defense also called witnesses to persuade the jury that the entire Vaden family was lying to lay the foundation for a future civil suit against the teacher. The family denied they had plans to file such a suit.

The jury of four women and two men deliberated for more than three and a half hours before delivering their verdict. One juror told Court TV he did not believe there was enough evidence to support the felony charges against the teacher.

"The possibility exists that she did [have sex with Vaden], but we didn't have credible evidence that she did," Clint Conliffe said.

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