Recent string of inappropriate teacher-student relationships

Throughout the Tri-State, there's been a string of inappropriate relationships involving young female teachers and male students over the past few years, including Sarah Jones, Stacy Schuler, and Andrea Conners.

(FOX19) - Most recently, a Colerain High School teacher indicted last week for allegedly having sexual contact with two students earlier this year.

What's with this recent trend?

FOX19's Brett Hoffland spoke with several people on Tuesday who said these types of relationships have been going on for decades. The only difference is we now see it reported more frequently.

Stuart Bassman is a psychologist who specializes in sexual addiction, and he says some of these teachers may be fixated at an early age.

"They might find themselves on par with the student so although they might be an adult, psychologically, emotionally, they might be on par with the student that they're teaching," Bassman explained.

Attorney Eric Deters has represented many of these women in court, but he believes there should be a complete change in the law.

"I personally do not think it should be a crime if a 17-year-old student has sex with a 25-year-old teacher. I'm sorry because they're not statutory rape," said Deters.

So what can schools do to prevent it from happening?

Oak Hills Superintendent Todd Yohey says they do background checks and extensive interviews with each teaching candidate before they hire them.

However, they can't detect all red flags in the screening process.

"It's just a personal, emotional event that we don't really have a whole lot of control over, and I'm not sure that we have a screening test to judge somebody's emotions at some point in time during their teacher career," said Yohey.

Yohey believes the prevalence of social media can play a role in the temptation teachers face. The Oak Hills Local School District does not ban that sort of interaction between students and teachers, but they strongly discourage it.

"We work with teachers in realizing that the way they interact with students both at school and outside of school is part of their job," said Yohey.

Dr. Bassman says there may be a trend with these relationships because young teachers seek to have power and control in the relationship.

"They recognize on some level what they're doing is wrong but in their mind, they tend to rationalize it. They tend to justify it," said Bassman.

The majority of these teachers lose their teaching licenses or will never be allowed to work in a school again.

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