Didn’t have a chance to get to this one.  Not sure who may have been following the events in the West Branch-Rose school district but I caught wind of it when I was following up on our friend the “Honorable” Judge G.Todd Baugh.  Baugh you may remember decided that he’d sentence a teacher to 30 days in jail for raping a 14 year-old girl whom the judge determined was “older than her chronological age.”  I was appalled by the sentence and his reasoning and equally appalled by Betsy Karasik’s Washington Post editorial poo-pooing the outrage, wondering what all the fuss is over predatory teachers having sex with their students.  I thought, cheese-and-rice, you’ve gotta be kidding, can’t we send our daughters to school without some over-sexed educator performing extra-curricular activities on them? Unfortunately, it’s happening all too frequently and maybe, just maybe, ol’ Betsy’s view is all too common among those we entrust our children to for 8 hours a day.

extra credit was a lot easier when I was young...

extra credit was a lot easier when I was young…

Baugh tried to apologize at first, and then back pedal to no avail.  He tried to change the sentence he had already given Stacey Rambold but the Montana State Supreme Court ruled he did not have the authority to change the sentence he had previously imposed.  Prosecutors were already appealing the sentence and no decision has been made on that appeal.

So we have a jurist who feels that the rape of a 14 year girl is worth only 30 days because “She was as much in control” as the perv teacher preying on her and Betsy seeing “no harm, no foul”  in sex between adults and children.  And then up pops the events in West Branch-Rose, where teacher Neil Erickson was arrested for raping a 14 year-old male student.  In the same tone of our Washington Post Editor with daddy issues, Erickson’s lawyer assures us that the victim “did not suffer severe psychological damage.”  Are you kidding me?

At least the judge got it right, sentencing Erickson to 15 to 30 years in prison.  But that’s where sanity ends.  In fact, the judge noted the lunacy surrounding the case when he sentenced Erickson, taking time to admonish not only Erickson, but a gaggle of his supporters. “I’m appalled and ashamed that the community could rally around, in this case, you,” Circuit Court Judge Michael Baumgartner said towards Erickson during his sentencing. “What you did was a jab in the eye with a sharp stick to every parent who trusts a teacher.”

The case has torn the community apart due to the letters of support from Erickson’s fellow teachers and one school board member, Michael Eagan, who sat in the courtroom in support of Erickson and his family.  Not bad enough that the district had a predator in the classroom; his fellow teachers supported him with letters to the judge, asking for leniency and rationalizing the act of deviancy.  “Neal made a mistake,” schoolteacher Sally Campbell wrote in a letter to the judge. “He allowed a mutual friendship to develop into much more. He realized his mistake and ended it years before someone anonymously sent something to the authorities which began this legal process.”  Had he or you Ms. Campbell, possessed one ounce of decency, you would have realized it was a “mistake” well before he got into the young man’s pants.  A mistake is writing the wrong answer on a test, not grooming a young boy for sex.  Not to be outdone, teacher Amy Huber Eagan, wife of the board member, begged the judge to be lenient when she wrote “I am asking that Neal be given the absolute minimum sentence, considering all the circumstances surrounding this case. I am also hoping that he can stay remanded to custody in the Ogemaw County Jail and not be sent to a prison facility.” Yes, let’s look out for the welfare of the man who made a slight mistake, took a friendship too far, come on, he was only abusing his student and taking pictures of the act.  Neat-o.

Of course, the town erupted and wanted the six teachers who supported this sick bastard tossed out on their asses.  But guess what?  They gots rights!  Yes, the right to free speech saved their jobs, as well as school board member Eagan’s.   However, many parents appear to have made good on their threats to pull their children from the district.  At least 87 children have dropped off the attendance rolls.  Apparently, school superintendent Daniel Cwayna can’t explain the drop in enrollment, stating “I can’t speculate as to why the students have left, but there were certainly parents who vocalized that they were pulling their children out of school because of the teacher’s support.”  Hey dumb-ass, let me help you out here with the truthful, non-politically correct statement you should have had the balls to issue; “the parents of 87 children have opted to pull their students out of the district given the fact that we have at least 6 known supporters of teacher-student sex currently teaching in the district and one on our school board.  Parents made the rational conclusion that we are not able to protect their students any longer and have decided to put the safety of their children first.”

There, fixed it for ya.