Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Letters To the Editor #1

As I work for both the Daily Collegian and The Daily Hampshire Gazette, I decided that it's probably against policy for me to write letters to them. I thought local stories would be best to respond to so I chose The Republican stories.

The first story that I wrote a letter to was "Missing Holyoke teacher, Lisa Lavoie and fifteen-year-old boy found in W.Va. motel"

To the Editor:

Tonight I logged onto Masslive.com to find the article “Missing teen, Holyoke teacher Lisa Lavoie found in W.Va. motel”. Stories like this have been common for a long time. Although the school’s personnel and parents thought that it would “never happen to them”, it did.
It is a shame that an isolated incident such as this would make parents question their confidence in the school. It is hard for anyone to foresee these situations happening.
The harsh reality is that often times it seems like the student victims seek out these relationships, which doesn’t make them right, but it doesn’t make them a cold case of rape either. These situations are somewhat of a grey area.
Lavoie is definitely more at fault, and should have been the one to exercise the restraint, but the student probably had a pretty big part in it. He had to have put himself in the situation for this to happen, obviously outside of the school day or in an inappropriate place. This doesn’t happen in the middle of class or with other students around.
For the record, it really isn’t appropriate for teachers to have sex with students and vice versus, but I think hormones and mutual consent are never brought up in these situations. I hope what has transpired does not severely scar the victim.

Andrea Murray
Northampton, MA

This is bound to be a controversial topic in the area. Teacher/student rape is always a big story. I don't think that my opinion is right in all circumstances, surely there are teachers that completely control and take advantage of students. But my gut reaction in this case was that it seemed like the student went out of his way to have a lengthy tryst with the teacher. Numerous national cases like this prove that the students were just as responsible for what happened and just as interested. I think that students can avoid these situations... #1 not being alone with a teacher. I don't think that rape is ever OK, but these situations don't always seem like regular old rape to me, just not socially or professionally acceptable from a teacher.

Anyhow, I think that it could be run because my voice in this matter will probably be deemed somewhat controversial and because my reaction is timely.

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