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Outrage Follows Ruling That Teachers Can Have Sex With 18-Year-Old Students

Posted by obama the antichrist on January 16, 2009


A Washington court’s ruling this week that teachers can legally have sex with their 18-year-old students is sparking outrage among parents, psychologists and sex therapists.

Matthew Hirschfelder

Matthew Hirschfelder

A three-judge panel of the Washington Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered the dismissal of a case brought against Matthew Hirschfelder, a former choir teacher at Hoquiam High School who was accused of having a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student in 2006, when he was 33.

Hirschfelder, who resigned in 2007, denied the relationship. But his lawyer challenged the charge against him, first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor, arguing that an 18-year-old is not a minor. The Court of Appeals heard the case after a lower-court judge refused to dismiss it.

0774813741With Tuesday’s ruling, the appeals court unanimously agreed that the state law banning sex between teachers and students is “ambiguous,” because 18-year-old students are not legally minors. The appeals court reversed the lower court’s ruling and ordered it to dismiss the charges.

Prosecutors say they have not decided whether they will appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

“I’m shocked and surprised,” Connie Severson told FOXNews.com. “They’re going to be teaching our students and the last thing you want is sexual relations on their mind.”

Severson, whose son Stephan is a junior at Hoquiam High School, said the ruling has “opened up the eyes of other parents” in the district.

“This shouldn’t be OK,” she said. “They are teachers. Every one of them should know better.”

Severson said the ruling could dissuade parents from enrolling their children within the Hoquiam school district.

“I’m hoping from a parent’s perspective that when my daughter is 18 and dating that she’s not having a relationship with her teacher,” she said. “This is not college, it’s not a university, this is high school.”

Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist, said the ruling sends a “very bad message” to students and teachers alike.

“Normally I would respect what the courts have to say, but this is a highly inappropriate message and one that is potentially dangerous,” Kuriansky told FOXNews.com. “This is where ethics come in conflict with the law.”

Kuriansky said the trauma that can be associated with such a relationship can last long after early adulthood.

“It can be very traumatic and be buried and repressed in their minds, and then emerge 10, 20 or even 30 years later when there is some kind of trigger or similar experience,” she said. “It has the potential to create tremendous tension and trauma.”

m_image_f6fae7d570_93_88_fa_80_60e7ff81Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright, an author and sex educator, said other potentially troubling scenarios could arise and become somewhat acceptable due to the ruling in Washington. One such scenario, she said, would be a female student who is vying for the attention of an older male teacher.

Having a relationship with an older man could be seen as a status symbol, she said, but “It can certainly rob a person of their natural growing-up process and having first experiences with someone their age.”

Overall, Fulbright, who writes the SEXPert column on FOXNews.com., said young women who have sexual encounters with older men typically become sexually active sooner, which can lead to reproductive issues.

Despite the court’s ruling, Hoquiam High School Principal Mark VandenHazel said it’s still not acceptable for teachers to engage in sexual conduct with 18-year-old students.

“Regardless of whether it’s a criminal act or not, you do this as a teacher and you’re just not going to have a job,” VandenHazel told FOXNews.com. “We have zero tolerance. If you want to continue teaching, don’t even think about it.”

Rich Wood, spokesman for the Washington Education Association, echoed VandenHazel’s comments.

“A teacher who has an inappropriate relationship with a student is subject to losing their certificate and getting kicked out of the association,” Wood told FOXNews.com. “It is grounds for never teaching again in this state — that’s not affected by [the Hirschfelder ruling].”

State legislators have already introduced a bill that would make it a felony for teachers to have a sexual relationship with a student who is between 16 and 21 years old. A conviction would carry a mandatory minimum of five years in prison.

“The expectations of parents when they send their kids to school is that they get an education and not be groomed for some quid pro quo relationship that might occur,” said Rep. Larry Haler, who introduced the bill Tuesday. “The message [the ruling] sends is one that basically says that there’s really nothing wrong with this kind of behavior by school staff, or even on the part of students.

This was from http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,480089,00.html


69 Responses to “Outrage Follows Ruling That Teachers Can Have Sex With 18-Year-Old Students”

  1. tothewire said

    Makes you wonder what kind of people pushed to get this ruling in the first place, doesn’t it?


  2. Lawman2 said

    makes me wanna add a pic…hehehe

    i’ll look for an ‘appropriate’ one if it is ok with ota…??


  3. obama the antichrist said

    duh add any pic to any of my posts

    ttw this bothered me sooooo much cuz i dont know which is more perverted a teacher advancing on a 18 year old student or an 18 year old advancing on a teacher both now completely legal 😦


  4. Lawman2 said

    if we have a girl she is going to an all girls school!just the thought of some pervert grooming my daughter(id i have a daughter)until she turns 18 makes this caveman see red.

    guess your parents weren’t wrong after all for sending you to private school tothewire.see i changed my mind…i am still evolving.


  5. obama the antichrist said

    i just watched a “without a trace” that had a principal kidnap a student so he could do things with that kid. now that is disgusting and those teachers or principals should be fired, beaten, then thrown in jail!


  6. Lawman2 said

    this guy just looks like he needs his ass whipped!


  7. This would also apply to college professors as well. When you are 18 and in college you are an adult but if you are 18 in High School you are not? Even if your daughter Caveman was to stay in an all girls catholic school and be brainwashed in that fasion. (heheh j/k or am I?) What if she falls in love with a teacher when she goes to college? What if these 18 year old young adults actually fall in love with thier teachers and thier teachers do the same? At this point a teaching license is awarded to someone who has a Bachellors Degree in Education. That makes teachers at the age of 22 if the person actually begins his or her degree after highschool. So a teacher that is 21 or 22 is very plausible. Would that make that person a pervert. Considering I had a 18 year old girl friend when I was 22. I got in trouble because she was a general’s daughter but still. Does that make me a pervert? At the age 18 legally a person is concidered a young adult and no longer a child. At the age of 18 you can make so many descisions that is legal that you could not before that. At 18 you can get married, join the military without a parent waiver, so is falling in love or even having sex with your teacher that bad. I can tell you that when I was in High School there was some teachers I wanted to have sex with and couldn’t. This law makes 18 year old young men and women’s dream come true. I could understand if you had one teacher through out your whole life if this was to be bad. But that is not the case.


  8. Lawman2 said

    hey the pics ok ota?


  9. Lawman2 said

    e_e you would be one of the first ones to say “hell a boss has no right to make a move on one of his employee’s” but you are defending a teacher for abusing her/his position?give me a break!this is a gross abuse of power.


  10. Lawman2 said

    so if a student is sexually harassed/and or raped and they are 18 do you realize how easy it will be for the defense to run with a not guilty plea?the way students dress now days…this just opens the door for all kinds of abuse.


  11. obama the antichrist said

    like the pics 🙂

    e_e see i am not ok with teacher/student or boss/employee relationships. an 18 and 22 yr old can have a relationship only if one does not hold the higher power because it causes problems with what needs to be done.


  12. obama the antichrist said

    i have to admit that i like how my posts have caused a converstation like this 🙂


  13. tothewire said

    LOL OTA You and Lawman will get a long just fine! Controversy puts a big smile on the caveman, just ask Kay!

    I think now with E_E, Dorian, You, Kay, Lawman, Centered, and myself it won’t be too hard for us to have some conversation with a dash of controversy, and debate on the side! lol


  14. obama the antichrist said



  15. tothewire said



  16. dorian9 said

    great job on the the pictures lawman!! i was wondering what you’d come up with. teacher’s pet, sexing the teacher..i feel i should come up w/ something in defense of the teaching profession since the family is 3 generations of teachers bt no need to. in every profession there will always be someone who will behave inappropriately. i still think teaching is one of the last noble professions around. they are way underpaid and unacknowledged for all the responsibility the job entails. always a surprise when i hear of young people actually wanting to be teachers. it takes a lot of dedication because you can’t live on a new teacher’s salary unless you have a couple of roommates..rj wrote an excellent article on this: http://thearjayconception.com/2008/05/16/becoming-a-teacher-the-hidden-costs/


  17. obama the antichrist said

    yes teachers are part of the last noble proffesions but still sex is not something to be taken likely in this situation


  18. dorian9 said

    i think the ruling would make the 18 year olds happy anyway. a lot of girls have had crushes on their teachers and usually the ones guilty of being seductive.and i’m talking about catholic all-girls school! hehe


  19. obama the antichrist said

    i forgot about that it could also be the students fault. cuz i know of some who would discriminate a proffessor to get what she wanted


  20. dorian9 said

    i remember the indiana jones classroom scenes, all filled with girls drooling over professor jones clueless while he was lecturing..


  21. tothewire said

    lol Dorian! Now Lawman is talking about home schooling…too funny!


  22. dorian9 said

    he’s so funny. may you have a few daughters!


  23. obama the antichrist said

    i dont like homeschooling its the parents way of keeping their kids sheltered from the “real” world. and when those kids are released to college and then when all of the drinking, drugs, and sex are shoved into their faces they have no idea how to react since it is their first time!


  24. tothewire said

    I agree OTA!

    I hope we have girls, or 1 girl and 1 boy! lawman says he doesn’t care. If we have a girl he is going to be so protective…poor girl!


  25. What kind of power does a teacher have? A teacher can fail or pass you and that’s it. I would say it is ethical to get involved with a boss but I would to say it is Unethical to do it for personal gain, I.e. A raise and more perks. If a relationship with a student gives the student a grade he or she did not earn then there is an ethical problem, which this kind of thing has laws against it anyway. Now this being said, flirting and come ons are really nothing. Flirting and comming on is different from a romantic relationship. Oh and TTW unless you are going to be the one teaching, letting him teach children even his own, unwise it will be.


  26. obama the antichrist said

    very tru there is room for only one caveman


  27. Yes we need more sensible people in the world LOL


  28. dorian9 said

    plenty of good genes to pass on to the kid i think most important is you teach him/her kindness and tolerance and yes faith – don’t know if caveman will like the third one hehe


  29. Lawman2 said

    a fail or pass grade could make the differnce on jr college or university AND which university.i’ll tell you what e when you have a daughter let’s have this conversation then.i don’t have to have one to know if my sister was having sex with her teacher,him being the adult would automatically mean his ass would get beat BY ME.how much more strongly do you think i would feel if it were my daughter?

    pretty soon you liberals are going to be pushing ‘sex’with jr high students is okay too.there has to be a line.that line is when a student is still a student in highschool,dependent upon adults still for shelter(living with parents).and then you want to know what happened to the good ol’ days when neighbors where caring neighbors and let’s not forget a child molester was just shot or hanged?

    it takes a selfish perverted adult male or female to have sex with a child still living at home with their parents,still depending on adults for their care.

    i can remember a young girl having a crush on me,and i remember wanting her so very much.she was 16 and i was 26.i waited until she was established in college life before i asked her out.out of respect to her AND TO HER PARENTS and i have loved her everyday since. NOW THAT IS TRUE LOVE not just a lustful selfish want.self disciplin is the most important thing you can teach a young man or any man for that matter.

    @tothewire what would be so bad about home schooling?it isn’t like we are a couple of highschool drop outs or college fluckies!hell i think most teachers have only a bachelors anyway.


  30. tothewire said

    We are not home schooling our children.

    WE LIBERALS? Lawman really?

    Actually, I think you asked my brother when I turned 18 if you could ask me out, AND he said no. BUT I was out of high school at that time, I will give you that.

    Dorian thank you! You are so right about the 3 most important things.


  31. Lawman2 said

    e_e did i shit in your oat meal sometime?

    not that i think i would actually want any of our children to inherit my temper,or my foul mouth…well okay you have a point hehehe

    may our children take after their mother!EXCEPT when it comes to the election polls!


  32. Lawman2 said

    where the hell is kay? by god she would have my back on this one!hehehe


  33. Lawman2 said

    ok maybe i shouldn’t lump all you whinny liberals in one lump…hehehe

    i like the sexy female whinny liberal WOMEN…

    have little use for the male whinny liberals though…


  34. Lawman2 said

    there now your not all lumped into one!


  35. tothewire said

    you’re such a nerd










  39. tothewire said

    Not funny.


  40. tothewire said

    Tell me does THISISGODSPEAKING have spell check?


  41. tothewire said

    I did find humor in that though


  42. obama the antichrist said

    o lawman (aka thisisgodspeaking) that was all to funny


  43. tothewire said

    I heard it here or hear first or rather read it…I think THISISGODSPEAKING types before he thinks, like the rest of us humans

    THISISGODSPEAKING would you tell my god like husband (budda maybe) I would like our children to know how to spell?


  44. obama the antichrist said

    she got you good ahahahahahahahaha


  45. Lawman2 said

    damn ota you gave me away…hehehe blew my cover you did!

    let’s go make cavebabies tothewire!


  46. dorian9 said

    and i’m not whiny.


  47. Lawman2 said

    budda? really tothewire? why gush, i’m blushin!


  48. Lawman2 said

    sorry dorian…just trying to get tothewire riled up before bed hehehe


  49. obama the antichrist said

    gush??? or do you mean gosh???? ahahahahahahahahaha


  50. Lawman2 said

    okay okay let’s play who is the politician…here is how it goes

    i was just checking to make sure everyone here was paying attention.i of course do not make spelling errors.so VOTE FOR ME


  51. dorian9 said

    go to bed children! and don’t forget to say your prayers lawman oh never mind the good wife is the saving grace..


  52. tothewire said

    That game fits…politicians lie just like YOU! Now guess who is saying HEHEHE


  53. tothewire said

    Good night all! We are off to bed!


  54. obama the antichrist said

    everyone is equal and we all have to spread the wealth! I am a liberal who is going to bring change!!!! VOTE FOR ME!!!!! THIS IS NOT A LIE *cough couch* [nervous glance]


  55. obama the antichrist said

    good night all!!!!!!





  57. Lawman2 said

    ota wins!just like obama your mama!game over time for bed.
    and people of faith have spoken and we can’t exactly squash that kind of ‘faith’ in ‘blessing to come’ from itsmeagainmargret…hehehe


  58. obama the antichrist said

    o lawman you make me laugh


  59. SewDucky said

    I can’t say much, I dated one of the teachers at my HS the summer I graduated (granted he was in his early 20’s and certainly wasn’t as creepy looking as this guy)but I was under the impression that they couldn’t date students on the collegiate or HS level while they were currently enrolled, which is why I got asked out AT my HS graduation instead of, oh April when I was 18.

    And I have to point out, that while this guy is kind of creepy (and yes, I refuse to grow up enough to look at it with my 18 year old self and go “ewww”) sometimes things aren’t what people make them out to be either. I had, and still enjoy, a close friendship with a former teacher of mine who’s got to be pushing 60, and for all intents and purposes looked like we have “dated” since we went to dinner, attended different types of functions, and spent time alone, some of which did occur before I was 18 (mostly coffee and conversation in public until I got “of age”, however) and he has never tried to make a move on me in any capacity, we just like hanging out with doing the geeky stuff we do. As an adult I can see where it looked weird (and I can even see where it sounds strange I became friends with a man 30 years older then myself as a teenager), and while I am in my 30’s, he would still shudder and tell you I was a child and it was gross to date me. Just some food for thought there.

    And for the record, I’m not a liberal. Or whiny.


  60. Lawman2 said

    hey there elaina!the point that you were already graduated from the school before you were asked out by the 20 some year old teacher.he most likely was a pervert though,the detournement for him was the law.the detournement should have been respect for you and your parents…and maybe it was.i still would have kicked his ass most likely for you…hehehe


  61. Lawman2 said

    the other teacher i get.tothewire has 3 lovely and intelligent nieces,and i enjoy being with them.they make me feel like a good dad,even though they already have a great dad!but i get that totally.


  62. fadingad said

    Get a life Matthew


  63. tothewire said

    Well said!


  64. tothewire said

    Nice to read you here again Frank!


  65. I had two twin boys (long story) if they were my daughters I would not object too much, but I am thinking of changing my major to Musical Education, just to teach High School band. And I am happy and commited, I wouldn’t want an 18 year old anyway I had two 18 year old girl friends in my life and niether was good in bed. I tend to be more attracted to women older than me. Not the case of my wife to be but still. And no Lawman you have not angered me you will know it when you do, and when I calm down any damages I cause I will fix personally. I do see things that are wrong but unless you are going to make new laws to encompass a dependent young adult, including barring a romantic relationship with an independant adult, you would need to also change how he or she is convicted if that person cannot legally have a romantic relationship with a consenting adult then they should not be tried as an adult or treated as an adult. This is all things you are saying.

    Also I would like to point out one Major thing in you saying come talk to me when I have a daughter. One I believe sex is not a “sin” or a bad thing. I believe that sex is a good thing and it should not be exclusive to marriage. But because I knocked up the wrong woman I firmly believe in the no glove no love philosophy. Also my views on relationships would make most Liberals act like conservatives towards me. In fact it has. Even though medically abstinence is a good thing, I know that people are going to have sex because it is an enjoyable act. Also the STD talk from me will be a lot more graphic than the schools can provide. Considering I have seen a lot of STD’s due to me being a medic in the Army, I think I would be able to scare my offspring into practicing safe sex. Everyone knows children will start having sex from the ages of 14 to 16, I started at 15. It would be very Hypocritical of me to tell my children no. I would just make sure that they know what will happen if I find out they have unprotected sex. I feel if they have enough knowledge on the subject of safe sex, STD’s, pregnancy, and abortion they would act like reasonable people. And for the record when I say abortion I just do not mean my personal feelings towards the subject. I would actually show them how a clinical abortion is done via video. I watched one while in training, I did not try to have sex for a week or so. Besides at 16 I will do what my dad did and make them get a part time job. That was also an effective anti-sex tactic. But also I was a nerd as well so..not that they where banging down the door.

    But really Lawman, my children will be well informed on this subject. They will know the reason why people push abstence and how sex being dirty and a sin and should only be done in marriage for procreation is just the Christian Churches brainwashing. And on religion if my children do not want to follow the spiritual path I follow I would not be mad, everyone has their own paths to follow. But they would know that they can not convert me even though I support their descision and such. I would not be the bad parent and tell them they are going to hell because they are a Jehova’s Witness, Mormon, Catholic, or any other Christian faith. Unlike some religious devout parents I knew of in High School.


  66. SewDucky said

    E_E my views on relationships and sex can’t be any worse then yours, or scare me. But I have to say abstinence and sex is a personal choice, and girls should be allowed time to mature before embarking on dating and sex. I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16, which allowed me to be capable of saying No. Lot of friends of mine dated younger and were amazed I did. Frequently.

    Abstinence isn’t all about morality or Christian faith. I kept my virginity until I got married the first time, not for a moral reason, it was something *I* wanted to do and give as a gift to someone I loved (which we’re not going to go into the failure of that or the fact I should have married my first love either).

    Kids, both girls AND boys, need to know there’s people that will take advantage of them.


  67. I agree and having as much information as possible helps make good decisions. Didn’t you ever watch GI Joe? At the end of every show they said “Now we know! And knowing is half the battle!” I would like to think if my children had all the information I could give them they would make the correct decisions. Also I would rather my son or daughter to say I want to be abstain from sex because I want to, not because “The Pastor says if I have sex before marriage I am going to hell.” Some churches preach this. I think knowledge and understanding is a better reason not to do something than, religious dogma. But of course that is my train of thought.


  68. SewDucky said

    Christians aren’t the only one at fault. While many churches do indeed teach that, Pagans go the opposite way and basically use it as an excuse for promiscuous behavior and encourage sex with multiple partners, or a booty call as needed for magic. (And yes, I am generalizing here. Not ALL Churches teach going to hell for having pre-martial sex and not all pagans are sluts.) None of them are correct, when did the moral character of raising your children fall to any institution? Personally, I’m not stupid enough to believe my child won’t be faced with it, and I choose to teach him to abstain or make sure you bag it, but *I* take responsibility for his moral character, I don’t leave it to the faith I follow or the Methodists which his father follows, or a cop, counselor, or school system.

    And no, I didn’t watch GI Joe. I was a girl and it sucked.


  69. ajlouny said

    Last I checked 18 would make for a consenting adult. Still kind of unappealing in my book, but not illegal.


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