I’m not saying that a 32-year-old teacher sleeping with her 12-year-old student is healthy, wise or ethical. If I found my [step]son had slept with his teacher I’d be first in line to have her fired, prosecuted, and kept the hell away from him. My points are as follows:
- Regardless of the crime that was committed years ago, and the possible inadvisability of their getting back together, they are both consenting adults who have served out their obligations under the law. Last I checked the restraining order was not a valid punishment under US jurisprudence. It’s a legal device for keeping someone from harming or harrassing another person against their will. If you think she wasn’t sufficiently punished, fine, argue that she should still be in prison. Arguing that they should be prevented from seeing each other in perpetuity is to argue for a significant, and IMO frightening, expansion of the government’s power to arbitrarily control people’s lives.
- Taking sexual advantage, even if they are willing, of an immature person is wrong. But it isn’t necessarily pedophilia. Pedophilia is being attracted to immaturity. If you’re too dumb to see that someone isn’t old/competent enough to make responsible decisions for themselves you’re not a pedophile, you’re just an idiot (dangerously so).
- Having read various stories on the subject, I highly doubt that, in this situation, the boy thought as a competent adult when he first met her. But I dispute the idea that any 12-year-old is automatically unfit to make those types of decisions. Adolescence is a fiction, a modern luxury. Just because American kids are not usually raised to be responsible at 12, doesn’t mean that he couldn’t have theoretically loved her, committed to her, and taken good care of her given the right combination of upbringin with natural precociousness.