Reason.tv has announced Michigan State Senator Roger Kahn its November ‘Nanny of the Month’. Kahn sponsoring a so-called ‘Hot for Teacher’ bill that would make it a felony punishable for up to 15 years in prison for teachers or almost any school employee or volunteer to have sex with students, even if the students were over 18.
The bill comes off the heels of a case when a male teacher reportedly had sex with a female student shortly after she turned 18 and a string of young female-teacher/male-student sex scandals.
“Our students shouldn’t have to shoulder the blame as these episodes play out in our newspapers, communities, the halls of our schools, and even our classrooms,” Kahn said to the Senate.
Prosecutors have recently been vocal about their inability to charge teachers who have had sex with students immediately after the students turned 18 – citing a case where one teacher waited until the day after the girl’s birthday before taking to her a hotel room, writes Dave Murray at MLive.com.
Susan J. Demas at MLive.com believes that the current law, whereby it is illegal for teachers to have sex with kids under the age of majority, makes perfect sense. But she points out that this new legislation could technically mean a teacher could get up to 15 years in prison for having sex with an adult education student of 45.
SB 596 is set to remove the upper limit on the state law that says a school employee is guilty of criminal sexual assault for having sex with a student between the ages of 16 and 18.
“When you turn 18, you can ship out for war. You can vote. You can get into a strip club. You are a legal adult. But now under a potential new law in Michigan, you cannot legally consent to have sex with an employee of your school,” writes Demas.
The bill was supported by two prosecutors, including Mike Thomas of Saginaw County who said in Senate Judiciary Committee hearings that parents “don’t expect their children to become cannon fodder for the sexual deficiencies or lack of morality in the lives” of some school employees.