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People are crazy, there is no doubt about it.wtf-gorilla

And the morality police are truly going too far.

Short version: back in 2006, a high school teacher (age 33) was accused of having a sexual relationship with a senior, age 18 at the time. He’s fired, charged, dismissed from his job and his record smeared. Here’s the rub: the law he’s charged with breaking? First-degree sexual misconduct with a minor.

Please read that again: first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor—yet the student was 18 years of age.

And the case was not dismissed until it got to the Washington Court of Appeals.

How, pray, was this a crime?

Not only is 16 the age of consent in Washington State, but hello? 18 years old? Adults, people. They can vote, pay taxes, start businesses, enlist and go to war, sign contracts, effin’ get married… but they can’t have sex with another adult?

I don’t get this stuff.

Look, it’s not that I’m opposed to the protection of the innocent—I’m perfectly fine with a code of conduct (and the article does mention that there is one already in place) that prohibits sexual contact between teacher and student under any situation, so that neither teachers or students can take advantage of each other. And any sexual contact with a minor under 16 is already considered rape and therefore a crime.

But why oh why would anyone want to criminalize consensual sex between adults?

“Some state legislators are set on changing the law. On Monday, six state representatives introduced legislation that would make it a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum of five years in prison for a teacher to have sex with a student up to age 21, as long as the teacher is five years older than the student and at the same school.”

As a corollary to the cyber flounce musing of yesterday, I remembered reading this article online, and wondering how on earth it was considered “news”:

Faceless communication online or over phone

often turns nice people nasty

No shit, Sherlock.

I mean, honestly, are we just noticing this? As far as I can tell, most people who have been online more than a few months know it—and if they don’t see it in their own behaviour, they see it from other people with whom they interact online.

Let’s take our old friend Vicious Rhinoceros, for example. I’ve read that people who have actually met her in person have a lot of trouble relating the nice-nice face-to-face person with the VR online persona.

My favorite line in the article, though, is something a few of us have been saying for a while now:

“People need to recognize that they just can’t send out these blogging responses and e-mails and expect their anonymity to be preserved. It probably won’t be. Recording devices are everywhere and Web 2.0, with its user-generated content, greatly amplifies the Net’s power to expose and publicize.

“It also archives forever.”

No! really? 😉