It may seem romantic to some people, but a relationship between a minor and his teacher is not something that should ever be considered normal; even worse—in most places it is against the law, and the teachers involved must suffer the consequences.
One of the most recent cases involves a middle school science teacher and a 14-year-old schoolboy. The married woman has already been arrested over the alleged relationship between her and the student.
26-year-old Stephanie Peterson was apprehended in New Smyrna, Florida on Wednesday after the 8th grader confessed to his parents what was going on.
The boy told his mom and dad that his teacher often picked him up around 11 p.m. and then spent a few private hours with him afterwards. He also admitted that sometimes she bought marijuana for him, and even a bowl with which he could smoke it.
Allegedly, the boy told his parents that his grades dropped due to the relationship.
Stephanie Peterson was put in the county jail and was charged with lewd or lascivious battery as well as providing harmful materials to a minor.
The Sheriff’s Office at Volusia County shared the news of the arrest on their Facebook page. The investigation says that the relationship between them began in November. It is unclear whether the boy is Peterson’s student or not.
The teacher reportedly resigned on Monday—she did so prior to her arrest.
According to the student’s version of the story, she told him to keep their relationship a secret.
Peterson married firefighter Brandon Ferri in 2015, and they do not have children yet. The couple deleted their profiles on social media as the news of her arrest was spread. The teacher is currently on a $25,000 bail bond.
According to local reports Peterson and her husband got married on the 5th of December 2015 in New Smyrna Beach. Upon the news of her arrest, it was also reported that the couple was currently in the process of divorcing, and Peterson was represented by her father Philip Peterson, who is an attorney. Divorce papers were filed on the 12th of February.
Husband Brandon Ferri is a firefighter at the Deland Fire Department. Except for deleting his Facebook account, there has not been any other action or comment from him about the arrest of his estranged wife.
According to a school district spokesperson, Peterson started working as a substitute teacher in the end of 2010. Later, she was a reading teacher at Port Orange’s Creekside Middle School, and finally she began working at The New Smyrna Middle School six months ago, teaching science. The spokesperson stated that the particular reason for Peterson’s resignation was unknown, as she simply pointed out it was a “personal” matter in the resignation papers.
Philip Peterson, the teacher’s father, is a prominent lawyer working within the DeLoach and Peterson law firm, which is located in New Smyrna Beach. He moved to from Iowa to Florida decades ago with his parents, and after running a business he completed his law education. His biography on the company website states that Philip Peterson has built himself a reputation as an efficient and result-oriented lawyer who values integrity.
Tony Dale, a Texas State Representative, initiated some law changes in November 2016 that would be able to prevent teachers from simply resigning from the job and moving elsewhere after being involved in a similar case as Peterson’s.
Dale said that the new legislation he proposed would increase the penalties for any educator who engaged in relationships with students that are inappropriate—to say the least—and prevent these people from being able to work in the school system of another district.
Dale is convinced that the legislation would serve as a tool to eliminate every teacher who has the potential of taking advantage of a student in any way that is against the law.
Reports from 2006 state that female teachers contributed up to four percent of all effectively convicted rapists and molesters in cases related to a teacher-student relationship. Former Department of Education chief of staff Terry Abbott stated two years ago that in some states these numbers have doubled, with the number of cases of female educators assaulting sexually students rising steadily over the years.
H/T – Source