This morning's news brings another story about a teacher who has had inappropriate contact and conduct with a student. This time, however, it's local. It's also interesting that the story hasn't made as big an impact as I might have thought it would.

This type of thing has been happening a lot lately, or has it? When I was in school back more than 30 years ago, we used to hear of rumors of some teacher and some student, but that's all they remained as, rumors. I have no doubt that this sort of thing has always happened throughout history where there have been schools, even at all-girl or all-boy schools. Strange as this comment sounds, it's the nature of the beast.

Teaching is an interesting profession. People who want to be teachers, for the most part, get a lot of training as a teacher. They'll usually go through a couple of years of intense training on the aspects of teaching, then they'll get thrown into a classroom setting for at least a semester for on the job training.

Usually, however, that on the job training is with little kids. It's not all that often that they'll get on the job training with high school kids, or people who are much closer to them in age than 6-8 year olds. For male teachers, there's something different in being around a 7 year old girl than being around a 15 year old girl who's developing into a woman. Same with a female teacher and suddenly being around a 15 or 16 year old male who's body is developing and somewhat muscular.

Even though the teacher's real world friends and peers are older than these kids, how easy is it for teachers to be able to turn it on and off when, as they're teaching, they're commanding all the attention, something that many of them probably didn't get while they were in school?

A part of me thinks there should be two things done with potential teachers. One, I believe there should be some kind of psychiatric evaluation done, nothing overly comprehensive, to see how teachers might respond to someone older than age 13; I think that's the age of the boy that Mary Kay Letourneau was with back in the day.

Two, I think potential teachers need leadership and management training. See, many managers who haven't had training never learn the lesson about the separation between the job and becoming too personal with people who work for them. In the case of teachers, they're the managers, and the students are the employees, and if they are taught that, it's possible that they would be armed with the skill to know not to cross the line.

Oh, one more thing, and I think this one is going to be controversial. In this local case, supposedly the relationship between the 24 year old teacher and the 16 year old student is consensual. I think there has to be some kind of separation in looking at the criminality of cases like this. For instance, this guy now has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. yet, both people profess their love for each other. Therefore, it's not really assault, though he should have known better. This wasn't the same as forcing someone to do something to get a good grade, or just out and out assault. I agree with his losing his teaching license. I just don't believe he should be deemed a sexual predator for the rest of his life.

What are your thoughts on all of this? It's times and situations like this when I'm glad to not be a father, or a teacher.