America’s Founding Fathers warned the American people about the dangers of the democratic mob when they created a republic (not a democracy), but we didn’t learn from them and allowed the United States to become a democracy early in the 20th century.
Now thanks to one furious mother that refuses to let her child have the freedom the law provides when a child becomes an adult at 18 years of age, California may join 23 other states where some may lose the freedom to fall in love with an older man or woman that is a former teacher.
Should falling in love with a consenting adult age 18 or older be a crime?
“Almost half of the world’s prisoners are in the United States (2.29 million), China (1.65 million sentenced prisoners), or Russia (0.81 million) – countries which account for just over a quarter of the world’s population…” Source: Prison Studies.org
The US is listed as # ONE with 743 prisoners per 100,000 people, the Russian Federation is # FIVE with 534 prisoners per 100,000 and China is # 117 with 122 prisoners per 100,000. Source: List of Countries by Incarceration Rate – Wiki
Since America is a country that often loudly announces it is the ‘land of the free’, being number one in this category should be an embarrassment casting a serious doubt on this claim.
It isn’t as if older men having relationships with a younger woman is anything new. These types of relationships may be rare compared to the average, but there are individuals that do find love with an older partner and it works.
How is this different from a relationship between two consenting adult gay men or women?
However, if Kristin Olsen’s Bill 1861 becomes law in California, 18-year-old high school girls or boys may still fall in love with any other older man or woman—no matter how old—as long as he or she isn’t a teacher.
If California joins the states that have removed this freedom of choice for legal consenting adults, 24 states may then send teachers to jail just because he or she had the audacity to fall in love (or lust) with a consenting 18 or older adult that was once a student.
I know of one teacher that worked at the same high school where I taught for almost twenty years. He married his wife soon after she graduated from that same high school. He was in his late twenties when she was his student and they started dating the following year, with the parents’ consent (the parents also acted as chaperones—the two never went on a date alone), when she was sixteen. That was in the 1980s, and that couple has had several children and are still happily married almost thirty years later. In fact, that older teacher wanted his younger wife to stay at home and raise the kids so he worked other job besides teaching to pay the bills. He sacrificed for the younger woman he loved.
In addition, I knew another teacher at the same high school that married a 19 year old former student that attended the same school, and when they married a year or more after the younger woman graduated, the teacher was in his 50s. A few years later, that marriage ended in an amicable divorce. The older man even voluntarily requested that the judge make the alimony higher.
Isn’t that what we have divorce for? If we make a mistake and/or fall out of love with someone we married (no matter what age they are), we have the option of divorce. Being age 18 or over means we have the right to make mistakes and learn from them without a parent interfering by pushing for punitive laws that will send more people to prison.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.
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