Are Our Children Safe? Part 2
Do screenwriters get their ideas from real life? Or are Americans inspired by the films they see? Perhaps motion pictures are a mere reflection of our hidden selves. Whatever the truth, one thing is clear; Hollywood has a knack for delivering Oscar winning pictures that reflect the basest aspect of the human condition. And when it suits studio executives, aspects of the human condition can be told in such a way that the general populace isn’t even offended by offensive subject matter. In fact, Americans tend to embrace the offensive and discard their sense or right and wrong. And more important, their sense of justice.
In 1967, Embassy Pictures released The Graduate. The Oscar winning film depicted the seduction of a recent college graduate by an older married woman. With the monumental success of that film, Hollywood went for the gusto. In 1971, just four years later, two more coming of age films were produced. Columbia Pictures released The Last Picture Show and Warner Brothers released, The Summer of ’42. The difference between these films and The Graduate is that they depicted relationships of high school students and older women. Both films were greeted with high praise and 12 Oscar nominations between them. However, only three Oscars were won; two for The Last Picture Show and one for The Summer of ’42.
Cloris Leachman, who won best supporting actress for her portrayal of Ruth Popper, the wife of the high school football coach, said, “I based my character on some Ruth Poppers I knew when I was growing up in Des Moines.” The Summer of ‘42’s only Oscar was awarded for its theme song. But the film was met with critical acclaim and actress Jennifer O’Neill received glowing reviews.
“A ROMANTIC FILM! Jennifer O’Neill is a girl of almost magical loveliness and vulnerability.” The New York Times.
“REWARDING! ABSORBING! A tender, funny, realistic story. Beautifully written. Jennifer O’Neill is a delight!” – Long Island Press
“THIS IS MOVIE-MAKING AT ITS BEST! Stunning with beautiful acting and direction!” – The Evening News
“MAJESTY ON FILM! It is wonderful – told in an almost unforgettable way. Jennifer O’Neill is super!” – WABC-TV
“A BEAUTIFUL MOVIE! A blend of humor, growing-up pangs, and life’s experiences! Jennifer O’Neill is fetchingly perfect!” – Cue Magazine
“A MASTERPIECE! ONE OF THE MOST TOUCHING FILMS I’VE EVER SEEN! Its warmth cannot be conveyed, it must be experienced. It actually evokes long dormant, sincere emotions – beautiful memories we share. Jennifer O’Neill has a quiet, beautiful maturity that makes her impossible to resist!” – WPIX-TV
“Beautiful! A LOVE STORY with a bite.” – Washington Post
“A MARVELOUSLY DONE FILM! – A touching, sensitive, unforgettable experience!” – Family Circle
“TENDER, FUNNY, SENTIMENTAL AND HONEST!” – Women’s Wear Daily
What the reviews don’t say is that Jennifer O’Neill plays the role of a 22-year-old woman who has a sexual fling with a 15-year-old boy. Keep in mind that these films were released in 1971, a time when sexual mores were a lot more reserved than they are in 2002. Even at that conservative time, the critics saw nothing wrong with this. They used words like absorbing, tender, love, sensitive, touching, romantic, and rewarding to describe The Summer of ’42. Perhaps the reaction to those films explains why so many female teachers have abandoned their public trust and are having inappropriate sexual relationships with their male students.
Female Teachers-Male Students
In 1996, Mary Kay Letourneau, a Washington State teacher, made headlines when it was discovered that she was having sexual relations with a 13-year-old boy, who eventually impregnated her two times. I’m sure most Americans thought this was an aberration, but it was just the tip of the iceberg. There have been numerous female teacher-male student relationships through out the country.
For example, On February 12, 1999, The Arizona Republic reported that a teacher at Parker High School, Jennifer A., was indicted for three counts of sexual conduct with a minor. A couple of weeks later, Ms. Tracey N., a librarian in the same district, was indicted for molesting a 13-year-old girl. “This week, Ms. Marian L., 39, former director of a Cave Creek charter school, was given a year in jail and lifetime probation for two counts of attempted sexual contact with two 14-year-old boys.” Some years earlier, in the same school district, Suzanne Y., 40, was having sexual relations with a 14-year-old boy. She was sentenced to three years’ probation. “In 1997, Ms. Catherine M., a 35-year-old former teacher at Deer Valley High School, got six months for sex with a minor, a former student, at a party in the desert.”
Sadly, the abuse by female teachers isn’t confined to Arizona. One could find cases of abuse in virtually every state. For example, Denise McBryde, a 38-year-old Florida teacher, married with three children, admitted to having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy.
Caroline Hendrie of Hastings, Minnesota reports that Julie Anne Feil, a 32-year-old married teacher with an 8-year-old son, pleaded guilty in 1998 to having a three-month sexual relationship a 15-year-old boy, saying, “I loved him the best way I knew how.” A note she had written to the boy about a Valentine’s Day rendezvous was discovered. It read: “Here’s what I want. 1. Go to our place. 2. Great Sex! 3. Dinner out–Olive Garden? Planet Hollywood? We dress up! 4. Dancing or a movie? Or our place and more great sex?” Four months after her arrest, while she was out on bond, Mrs. Feil went to the boy’s home at 2 A.M., her 8 year-old-son in tow, and “pounded on his window,” and attempted to have sex with him on the lawn.
In Carroll County, Maryland, two more female teachers, Kimberly Merson, 24, and Tracie Lynn Mokry, 21, were charged with having sex with teenage boys. Merson pleaded guilty, but Mokry’s charges were dropped. According to a May 23, 2001, police report, Mokry initially denied having contact with male students away from school. But later in the same interview, Mokry admitted to having sex talk with some students on a computer. One of the students told the police that Mokry had provided large quantities of alcohol to him and six other males from Francis Scott Key High School. The same student reported that after drinking a lot of alcohol, he laid down on her bed and Mokry took off his pants and “initiated sexual contact with him.” “The contact included, French kissing, fondling, fellatio, cunnilingus, and vaginal intercourse.”
The police report filled against Mrs. Kimberly Lynn Merson provided even more damaging information than Ms. Mokry’s. Mrs. Merson admitted to drinking alcohol with students, posing nude, and having sexual contact with “one or more students.” One of the students gave the police four pictures of Mrs. Merson spreading her genitalia and fondling herself. The report went on to say that Mrs. Merson had written requesting the return of the photographs. The note read: “it’s all my fault, I know, but I need to stop worrying and act like that part never happened. I hope you respect me enough to do this.” The police arrested Mrs. Merson May 19, 2001, and she admitted to providing alcohol, doing a striptease, having sex, fellatio, and fondling “multiple male students.”
If I were talking about the sexual deviance of men, I could probably stop providing evidence at this point. But women are not known for their lust and sexual depravity. Therefore, I will offer more evidence that our children are not only in danger from licentious predatory men, but also from lascivious women. As I said in my last article, female pedophilia is on the horizon.
Consider these examples, “37-year-old Amy Rodriguez raped a 12-year-old boy at least three times at her home. The mother of the boy suspected trouble when she noticed Rodriguez picking up the boy. When she checked his room, she found romantic messages from his teacher.” June 13, 2002, the Associated Press reports that “California high school teacher, Tanya Hadden, 33, ran off with her 15-year-old student. A Louisiana teacher is accused of having an affair with her 14-year-old student. In the Bronx, a teacher is charged with statutory rape involving a 16-year-old former student.”
Court TV.com reports that Beth Friedman was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The 42-year-old Florida teacher was having an 18-month relationship with a 14-year-old student. “In Utah, a female gymnastics coach awaits trial for allegedly raping and sodomizing a 12-year-old male student. A 24-year-old New York teacher is charged with having a sexual relationship with two 16-year-old male students at the high school where she worked. And this past August, a former Bentonville, Arkansas special education teacher pleaded guilty to first-degree violation of a minor for having sex with one of her 16-year-old students.” In Hackensack, New Jersey, a 43-year-old teacher, Pamela Diehl-Moore admitted having sex with a seventh-grade student who was 13 at the time.
At this point, I’m sure some people are saying, “So what? What’s the big deal? These guys are lucky. They ought to be grateful. And therein lays the problem with female pedophiliacs. Few people care. Most people think this sort of thing doesn’t happen very often. Even judges want to wink at this. For example, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Bruce A. Gaeta, after sentencing Pamela Diehl-Moore to five years probation, said, “I really don’t see the harm that was done here, and certainly society doesn’t need to be worried. I do not believe she is a sexual predator. It’s just something between two people that clicked beyond the teacher-student relationship. Maybe it was a way for him, once this happened, to satisfy his sexual needs. People mature at different rates.”
He doesn’t see the harm? It’s just something that clicked between two people? The boy was 13-years-old. Ms. Diehl-Moore was 43. Perhaps Judge Gaeta was a fan of the films I mentioned earlier in this article. I wonder if the judge would see something wrong with a man being 43 and having sexual relations with a seventh-grade 13-year-old girl. What if it was his daughter? Would he feel the same? Would you?
Imagine the mind-set of a 13-year-old boy whose had sex with a grown woman. Does anybody think he’s going to stop having sex once the relationship is over? He’s probably going to think its okay to have sex with girls his own age. Or worst yet, he too, will become an abuser. This is the harm that judge Gaeta is too short sighted to see. This boy, like so many before him, may become a sexual predator. The irony of this is that if the boy becomes a pedophile, a judge will probably give him a sentence far more severe then the woman who molested him. I seriously doubt that the judge would say, “maybe it was a way for 13-year-old girl to satisfy her needs” even if she gave her consent. But this article isn’t about equal treatment under the law. It’s about bringing the issue of female pedophilia to the surface.
Nevertheless, a double standard exists. People are not outraged when a woman molests a child. Somehow, people deduced that the woman is crazy. Why? Because if she were sane, a woman would never do something like that. But I’ve just proven that a woman will and have molested boys all over the United States. We can’t continue to smile and look the other way. If we do, how can we condemn men when they do the very thing that we winked at years earlier. What if the male pedophile believes it’s okay to have sex with young girls? Isn’t that what we taught him by telling him he was lucky?
Consider Daniel, who was molested by his mother, who was molested by her stepfather. Daniel had been molested at a local swimming pool and his mother insisted that he tell the authorities. Daniel told the police he didn’t see what the big deal was. His mother did the same thing to him all the time. Subsequently, Daniel’s mother was arrested and sentenced to prison. Seven years later, Daniel is now up on charges for molesting his young female cousin.
Keith Lee Johnson