Although it has become oddly ubiquitous, no one condones teachers — the ultimate authority figures for many students — engaging in intimate relationships with those in their charge. Such unacceptable behavior ranks as an ultimate betrayal of trust, which made a slim 50-word ‘news update’ insert on the front of Section B, requiring two reporters to write, an attention grabber.
The report tells of Susan Jayne Anderson, 29, a former coach at Desert Edge high school in Goodyear, Arizona. Anderson received a sentence of one weekend in the county jail and lifetime probation, including permanent suspension of her teaching license, after she pleaded guilty to sexual conduct with a 16-year-old girl. Phone records showed Anderson and her student talked daily and had exchanged “thousands” of text messages since December 2007. They also communicated through myspace.
The report and lax sentence brings to mind 1985 Teacher of the Year, Ken Lamberton, a Mesa science teacher. Twenty-eight at the time of his arrest, he served 12 years in a state prison for engaging in what is now called an “inappropriate relationship” with a 14-year-old girl.
A single weekend in jail is an insufficient sentence for Ms. Anderson.