And yet we have some FReepers on other threads about this case that are trying to justify what the teacher did by saying that this 14 year old consented. My eyes have been opened as to just how pervasive the decay is when FReepers are justifying this behavior. Disgusting!
But the young lady of a century ago and the 14 year old of today are different in maturity levels, even as biology marches forward.
Some blame the estrogenic compounds to be found in greater numbers for the rapid onset of puberty in kids nowadays, and the media sexualization of almost everything doesn't help, but that doesn't change the fact that what the man did was illegal.
Compound that with the violation of the public trust that their youth would be safe from exploitation by someone in his profession, and that makes his actions all the more unacceptable.
Whether or how much the child's suicide was related to the incident remains in question in my mind, too. While her death may tidy up 'loose ends' for him, it makes me even less inclined (as if that is possible) to excuse his behaviour.
The judge should have thrown the book at him, because at 14 she can't legally consent. The presumption has been historically that that constitutes rape, and many 17-18 year olds have been held harshly to account for the same violation, even though the case could be made on their behalf that the two were a couple in love with a minor (numerically) but legally significant age difference.