Thursday, August 06, 2009

Are…you…KIDDING ME?!?!?

Clinton Douglas Smith, a former teacher at Willits Charter School (not to be confused with Willits High School), received a suspended sentence for having a sexual relationship with a 15 year old girl.

Let me repeat that.

A 38 year old male teacher was given a pass for having sex with a girl that was hardly in high school.

I don’t know which of the following facts is more disturbing:

-That a 38 year old male thought that it was ok to have sex with a 15 year old girl.

-That a teacher found a 15 year old sexually attractive.

-That the man was married and had a daughter that was friends with the victim.

-That the psychologists found that he wasn’t a sexual predator.

-That the psychologists actually recommended that Smith hold a workshop for teachers on how to stay out of sexual relationships with students.

-That a fair amount of people supported him.

-That people were “relieved” with the court ruling.

-That 20 local area teachers sent letters supporting this guy.

We are talking about a man who took full advantage of a young girl, filling her head with images of a mature relationship.  Yet the judicial system seems to be looking at this as a small mistake.  This isn’t a mistake, this is a disgusting action that was made by choice by a mature man, a choice that was clearly illegal. And while I would never condone a relationship between a teacher and a student, we aren’t talking about an 18 year old student and 23 year old teacher, we talking about mass manipulation of a young girl. 

How the hell does this guy get off with “time served” and a suspended sentence?  That baffles the mind.  It is also a sad commentary about the legal system of rural Northern California, where we are more concerned with protecting drug dealers and child molesters than enforcing legitimate rule-of-law.  This blight can do nothing but make Willits look bad, real bad.

And other teachers sending support?  Are you kidding me?  Let me make it clear that I know of NO teachers from Willits High School that support this guy.  I can’t believe that anyone would actually speak in support this crime.  You would guess that the best of friends would do the wise thing and shut-the-hell-up.  But actual letters of support?  I’m a teacher and if I found out who sent those letters, if I had a kid, I would pull my kid out of that instructor’s class in a second.  There is simply no excuse.   

People of Mendocino County, understand that teachers do not find this behavior acceptable.  I work with people that would have no problem locking this guy away for a long, long time.  Clinton Smith, and his idiot supporters, do not represent the vast majority of educators in Mendocino County. 

And to the judge that sat in on this case…what the hell were you thinking?      

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