With a lifelong passion for companion animals, primarily dogs although a few kitties worked their way in, I heartily support the effort to act humanely and control the animal population so that fewer of them are inhumanely treated or are euthanized. While I personally value these critters more highly than at least a couple of the people I’ve met on my journey, I realize that the prevailing thought among most people is that we, as top of the food chain (momentarily), are far more important than the most wonderful of our four footed friends. So let’s go with that line of thought for a moment.
I’ve previously written about an explanation I received from a Russian Orthodox bishop as to what the “unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit” was. For those who missed it let me recap. God’s love and forgiveness is limitless. But unless the person who needs that forgiveness asks for it, God does not impose himself on the sinner. The way most of us know this is by the label, “Free Will.” But if a person is so hardened of heart that he refuses to ask for forgiveness, it is denied him. That is not by God’s choice but is a function of the individual’s decision.
While I am not a theologian, from a lay person’s perspective I have come to the conclusion that certain specific acts or crimes are manifestations of the person who has reached a point where he or she is incapable of asking for compassion – because that person is unable to understand compassion and feels no guilt about inflicting violence and brutality against others. The three crimes which I view as examples of this are crimes against children; crimes against the infirm or elderly; and crimes against animals.
We send our children to school to be educated in the fundamentals they will need to make it through. We trust that when they go there they will be provided a safe environment in which to learn. The most recent shooting spree by a jilted boy friend in Washington state is garnering only slightly more attention than the hatchet attacks against two rookie New York City policemen, probably because the shooter, a Native American, doesn’t fit the left’s agenda that virtually all violence is committed by white males and the NRA is responsible for all our ills.
But this piece is not about school shootings. It is about something at least as tragic and even more widespread. It is about sexually predatory teachers. And it seems, based on recent arrests, that there is an ordinate number of women, not men, who are the guilty parties. That doesn’t work well with the “War on Women” meme that abounds in the liberal media.
I recently read several stories in which female teachers took advantage of their position and had sexual relations with their students. One was committed by a twenty-two year old substitute teacher on her first day teaching at a school in Washington, D. C. The student was a seventeen year old male, on whom she performed oral sex. Perhaps as disturbing as the story were the comments on the story, many of which referred to her attractive appearance and left remarks like, “Wow, she’s a looker. I wish I had her teaching my class when I was in high school.”
Another story from a few days earlier detailed the fact that a thirty-four year old teacher had been arrested in California and charged with having an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of her students. In this case she was married and has several small children at home. That in itself is a scary thought.
In New York City, a gym teacher was charged with thirty counts of statutory rape for allegedly having sex with one of her male students on a regular basis over a period of many months. In addition, she faces four charges for “criminal sexual acts”. Apparently, predators are not restricted to any geographical area. All they need is a classroom.
My parents had many concerns that they pondered in my rearing. I am, however, confident that worrying about one of my teacher’s molesting me while at was at school was not on their list of worries. If I had kids in school today I suspect I would feel differently.
Now I realize that there are those on the left who adamantly oppose the death penalty, suggesting that the argument that executing someone does not really deter others from committing similar executable crimes. Perhaps they’re correct. And the argument that if we made a mistake in arriving at a conviction and then execute the person, well that decision is irreversible. That’s definitely true. So I would like to promote a compromise punishment for people who are found guilty of sexually predatory behavior – whether teachers or otherwise. Spay and neuter.
Should the reader think this is “cruel and unusual punishment” I would draw their attention to the children who are maligned and how they are likely to suffer a lifelong struggle to overcome their abuse. And, unlike a lethal injection or a firing squad, having to live the rest of your life as an asexual person might indeed prove to be a deterrent for others contemplating engaging in similar activities.
As to the argument that the death penalty is final – well, I’d admit that this too would be irreversible should someone be wrongly convicted. But I have faith that in the near future, science will have developed a way for us to clone ourselves – so for those few who were innocent, there would still be light at the end of the tunnel. That might be a brighter light than the one that will ever shine on the victims whom these predators have abused.