The infamous Debra Lafave’s case is kind of unusual because the prosecutor dropped charges against her for “allegedly” having sex with a fourteen-year-old student. The reason, we are told, is that the boy (now sixteen) didn’t want to testify.
To parody the cunning words of that sly old fox Paul Van Der Sloot: No witness, no case. It’s no wonder that the remorseful “Pinky Promise” Debbie smirked and grinned her way through her final day in court.
And now, as Larry King, Greta, and the rest of the media begin to welcome her with open arms to discuss her “illness,” Teacher Lafave has a shot at moving into the ranks of super-famous intellectual giants such as Paris Hilton and … well … I guess I can’t think of anyone right off hand who’s in a class with Paris Hilton, so I’ll just leave it at that.
And money — lots of it — surely can’t be far behind for Debra Lafave. Humbly admitting that she has a “gift” for writing, she hinted — Surprise! — that a book is on the horizon. Aren’t you dying to read it? Knowing publishers as I do, my guess at the title of her upcoming blockbuster book will be A Teacher’s Work Is Never Done.
And perhaps Harley-Davidson will hire her to do a commercial in her birthday suit. Anything is possible in America for criminals with the right stuff. In fact, off the top of my head, I can think of at least four convicted felons who now have their own radio or TV shows. And you wonder why they call this a great country?
Look, let’s be honest — adolescent and teenage boys all over the country are joking about the Debra Lafave case and wishing they had been the ones to have been sexually abused by the NEA’s new poster teacher. And even I have to admit that she’s probably not a threat to young boys in the same sense as a male child molester.
But, guess what? None of the above is relevant. No matter how much adolescent and teenage boys wish it had been them, and even if Devious Debbie is not a serious threat to hormone-exploding youngsters who cross her path, I believe she should be required to do jail time. Not just a year or two, but something more like fifteen to twenty years.
Society cannot exist without a generally accepted code of conduct, and you simply can’t allow teachers — including female teachers — to have sex with students. The fact that some students might embrace such opportunities is irrelevant. Students also like to cheat on tests, but that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to do it. In fact, there are all kinds of things teenagers would like to do that are not in their best interests, which is why it’s the responsibility of adults to protect kids from themselves.
Footnote: Interestingly, the day after charges against Debra Lafave were dropped, former West Virginia elementary school teacher Toni Lyn Woods was sentenced to twenty years in prison for sexually assaulting five middle-school boys. At age 37 and, to put it mildly, not what you would call physically attractive, Ms. Woods simply doesn’t have the camera clout that Dynamite Debbie has.
Justice was done in the case of Toni Lyn Woods, but the disparity between her fate and that of soon-to-be-rich-and-famous Debra Lafave is yet another reminder that our justice system is desperately in need of repair.