May 30: As school years go, this one has been riddled with sex scandal. But as these mugshots show, it’s not droves of male teachers who are being arrested and charged for having sex with their under-age students - it’s females. And as yet another young, female teacher is this week arrested for allegedly having sex with her 16-year-old student, the MailOnline asks: what’s happened to America’s female teachers?
As school years go, this one has been riddled with sex scandal.
But it’s not droves of male teachers who are being arrested and charged for having sex with their under-age students - it’s females.
And as yet another young, female teacher is this week arrested for allegedly having sex with her 16-year-old student, the MailOnline asks: what’s happened to America’s female teachers?
The latest case involves 26-year-old Nicole R Letcher, a teacher at Fulton High School, Illinois, who has been charged with six counts of sex abuse with a minor.
Letcher, who teaches English at the school where she actually went herself, is currently being held on a $50,000 bond and has been suspended until further notice.
Charged: Nicole Letcher, an English teacher at Fulton High School, Illinois, has been charged with six counts of sex abuse with a 16-year-old
Ashford University also recently awarded the teacher a full scholarship for an MA in education,Letcher joins a long line of female sex predators operating in U.S. schools.
This month alone the MailOnline has reported on six cases all involving female teachers who have been allegedly indulging in sexual relations with teenage boys.
Leading child psychologist, Dr Michael Oberschneider, of Ashburn Psychological Services, puts the increase of cases down to the blurring of boundaries between teachers and their students.
But he also has something to say about the potential influence of TV shows like Cougar Town and films which seem to celebrate the so-called ’Mrs Robinson’ effect.
’As a nation we are over sexulising things,’ he told MailOnline. ’Our prime time shows are becoming very graphic, we have TV shows that encourage ’cougars’ - they’re saying isn’t it a wonderful idea for older women?
Explanation: Leading child psychologist, Dr Michael Oberschneider, put the increase of cases down to the blurring of boundaries between teachers and their students
’This idea of the cougar and the inappropriate term MILF (Mom I’d like to f**k). It’s trendy to be with someone’s mom,’ he added.
The authors of recent book ‘A Billion Wicked Thoughts’ analysed over one billion internet web searches to identify popular sexual desires.
The term MILF came in at number three on the top 10 list of terms people search for at 4.3 per cent. Youth was number one at 13.5 per cent.
Dr Oberschneider, who sees both teenagers who have been sexually abused and the adults who sexually abuse, said having sex with older women, especially women in a position of power is a badge of honour for some boys and their peers.
But perhaps more disturbing is the attitudes of some parents to what should be a harrowing ordeal for their child.
’I’ve had teenage boys in my office talking about being with older women and their parents are laughing,’ Dr Oberschneider said.
’The father is almost saying "atta boy".
’There is a certain mystique around the older woman in our society,’ he added. ’If it was a man (who is abusing) in our society we are harsher, but when it’s a woman we kind of wonder about it.
’It’s still a horrible thing, but I think there is also a little bit of unconscious permission (in society). It seems to be not quite as bad when an older woman does something with a younger boy’
Social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace are also having an influence, according to Dr Oberschneider.
’I have head teachers in my practice who are friends with their students on Facebook and they don’t see anything wrong with it,’ he said.
’It’s a blurring of boundaries but your teacher is not your friend. We need to get the boundaries back.
’Teachers need to be very clear about what their role is; they are not friends, they’re authority figures and it’s important for teachers to know that.’
In his experience most teachers who have been caught abusing their students have psychological issues.
’Nine times out of 10 there is something psychological going on with the adult,’ he said. ’Certain people with emotional difficulties are going to be attracted to teaching where they can act out their pathology.’