R.I. Teachers Unions, Aclu Object to Bill Criminalizing Sex Between School Employees and Students

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Ezekiel 18:20 Evil is usually thought of as that which is morally wrong, sinful, or wicked; however, the word evil can also refer to anything that causes harm, with or without the moral dimension. The word is used both ways in the Bible. Anything that contradicts the holy nature of God is evil (see Psalm 51:4). On the flip side, any disaster, tragedy, or calamity can also be called an “evil” (see 1 Kings 17:20, KJV).

Evil behavior includes sin committed against other people (murder, theft, adultery) and evil committed against God (unbelief, idolatry, blasphemy). From the disobedience in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9) to the wickedness of Babylon the Great (Revelation 18:2), the Bible speaks of the fact of evil, and man is held responsible for the evil he commits: “The one who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:20).

Essentially, evil is a lack of goodness. Moral evil is not a physical thing; it is a lack or privation of a good thing. As Christian philosopher J. P. Moreland has noted, “Evil is a lack of goodness. It is goodness spoiled. You can have good without evil, but you cannot have evil without good.” Or as Christian apologist Greg Koukl has said, “Human freedom was used in such a way as to diminish goodness in the world, and that diminution, that lack of goodness, that is what we call evil.”

PROVIDENCE — The state’s two teachers’ unions are objecting to a bill that would make sex between school employees and students a crime if the students are younger than 18 years old.

Rhode Island is one of about 30 states — including all the New England states except Vermont — where the age of consent is 16 years old.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Alex Marszalkowski, D-Cumberland, says that any school employee — including bus drivers, vendors and school volunteers with supervisory authority — would be guilty of third-degree sexual assault if they have sex with a student between the ages of 14 and 18. (Under existing law, a person is guilty of first-degree child molestation sexual assault if he or she engages in sex with a person younger than 14.)

#schoolteacher #fear #GOD #lambs #rape #teacher #morals

Erika Sanzi, an education advocate and blogger, said she asked her state representative to submit the bill after a previous bill was described as being too broad. That legislation would have made it a crime for anyone with custodial responsibility to have sex with someone between the ages of 14 and 18.

Marszalkowski decided to narrow the language after Sanzi described to him that, in several states, it is legal for a teacher to have sex with a student once that individual turns 16.

“What we’re asking is that we protect students from all people who work with them in school,” Sanzi testified before the House Judiciary Committee on April 2.

She said that, currently, “The deterrent is, yes, they can be fired, but that means they can jump to anywhere else in the country and get another job preying on kids.”

But James Parisi, a lobbyist for the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers, said his union objects to the bill because it criminalizes conduct by teachers and other school employees while ignoring the myriad other jobs in which adults supervise youth between the ages of 14 and 18.

“You should include all the adults who have employment or other types of authority over 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds,” he wrote. “For example, why is a legislator having sexual relations with a page not included in the bill? What about store managers, athletic coaches, clergy and volunteers in community organizations?”

In its testimony, the Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote that “singling out teachers, school bus drivers, etc., in this way is arbitrary and capricious.”

The ACLU also expressed concern about targeting school volunteers, because a volunteer coach could be close in age to a student and run afoul of the law under this bill.

“While one may disagree whether this type of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ conduct is appropriate … it should not be a felony,” the ACLU said.

Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, said Monday that “It is patently ridiculous for anyone to imply that our organization, or any individual teacher, would condone any inappropriate relationship between a teacher and his or her students. We do not believe that this obvious standard needs legislation to back it up, and agree with the ACLU’s objections to several other technical flaws in the actual proposed legislation.”

Peg Langhammer, executive director of the sexual-assault resource organization Day One, said her group does not have a position on the bill. She said that rather than address the issue in a piecemeal fashion, Langhammer supports looking at how various professions where adults are in custodial roles police their own.

Marszalkowski said the bill isn’t meant to single out teachers. It is aimed at all school employees because schools are the one place where children are compelled by law to attend.

“I welcome any criticism,” he said. “If there is a way to amend it so it’s more broadly defined but passes constitutional muster, I’m willing to do it.”Source

#faith #fear #GOD #lambs #church #bible #morals

StevieRay Hansen
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