Napa Valley Register : Police: Napa High teacher had sexual relationship with 16-year-old student
Napa Valley Register : Napa High teacher pleads not guilty in sex case
First of all, I don't claim to know whether it happened. I don't claim to know if the "not guilty" may be a truthful "nothing happened at all".
But, supposing this is not so, supposing he is not married, knowing pretty certainly she is not married, hoping they are both baptised Christians (perhaps not active believers) or otherwise both non-baptised non-Christians, the proper thing to do IN SUCH A CASE (still not presuming to judge whether Belhumeur is such a case) would be the following:
- 1) Breaking off the usual and official relation as teacher and student to each other.
- 2) Asking her, in front of her parents, if she liked him.
- 3) If answer were yes, getting down on knees and asking for marriage.
- 4) Marrying her.
- 5) Getting back to teaching in a class/in all classes where his wife was not the student.
What would be the objections, and how do I answer these?
- "Since he is her teacher, he's in a position of authority and it's kind of rapeish/incestuousish to abuse authority that way".
- Part of the authority figure is CERTAINLY gone when such a thing has happened.
Plus, this is why I consider as step 1 to break off the authority-inequal relationship between them, hence step 1.
- "She's too young."
The Catholic Church throughout centuries, and both Roman Empire and presumably Davidic Kingdom before it, as well as its "twin" Russian Orthodox Church under the Czars have unanimously maintained that age 12, when a girl is in the medium age for physical puberty to have happened (menarché medium age is 12 years and a few months, according to a study I read back in a library in Sweden, before 2004), is an appropriate age for marriage to be allowed (but not compulsory, as marriage is not compulsory - except for seducers or worse, on demand of victim).
Psychologists have defended the modern 18 year limit by referring to a brain change occurring both sexes between age 18 and 25. This brain change is a shrinking, though not yet the one that may occur in old age.
The last growing of the brain occurs, also for both sexes, ages 10-12. So that brain growth spurt is the mental capacities maturity required for marriage, and not the later one.
Individual maturity depending on mental factors and cultural factors rather than on mental capacities factors cannot be standardised and therefore cannot be taken as a rule, except if it lines up with a mental capacities factor.
The 18-25 developments is the wrong and the 10-12 developments being ready is the right mental capacities factor to be lower limit. PLUS it should be finished (which is the case age 12). PLUS puberty should also have started to change hormones. Puberty changes tastes in many things, not just taste buds. And this may influence the taste in matrimonial partner, plus before puberty marriage cannot be correctly consumed phsysically.
Hence 12 for girls and 14 for boys.
- "He's too old for her."
Or perhaps rather : that is for her to decide.
One should be shocked if teens are forcefully married to much older men (though if they cannot choose, a near age peer might be even worse!), but one should not be shocked if a teen choses someone older or - in some cultures - willingly obey parents about someone much older.
One bonus might be her getting leave off childbearing before her menopause. And of her husband having an easier time being faithful after her menopause.
And obviously there are, either way, individual merits she might prefer to age considerations, which is totally her right. Whether against Muslims who might think she is a fool to fall for a young guy, or against a certain tribe of Romantics who might think she were foolish to fall for an older one.
Some might add as a fourth objection it is already a police investigation (I don't know if a verdict has been made yet, while I am writing this) and the State has such and such laws. OK, but what if the laws are modern and therefore likely to be bad?
1970's saw one good wave of legislation, abolishing certain racial and eugenic laws or rather tyrannies that had been in place since 1920's or 1930's, and sometimes legalised discriminations that had been in place even earlier (since in US Civil War's aftermath, since in many places over the world, certain wars had subdued indigenous populations or started meddling with only nominally subdued ones). But it also saw quite a few bad ones in other areas.
Hans Georg Lundahl
St Dunstan of Canterbury
PS, I just forgot, some really creepy types might say things like "she can't marry, she needs to study" ... well, motherhood is both a better study than high school and a better carreer than the ones that high school prepares for./HGL