Proposed California Bill Would Make Teacher-Student Romantic Relationship a Crime

A bill that has just been proposed by a California lawmaker has the interest of California criminal defense attorney’s; the bill would make any kind of romantic relationship between a teacher and a student, a crime. This sounds like a lawmaker’s overreaction to some of the teacher sexual abuse cases that have hit the headlines recently.

Under the proposal by Representative Kristin Olsen, teachers who are dating their students, or are in a romantic relationship with a student, would be charged with a felony crime. The teacher would be charged with a crime even if the student was an adult.

The bill is called the Safe Student Act, and would make it a felony offense for any employee of a public school system to begin any kind of sexual relationship or romantic relationship, or even have excessive communication with any student of any age, even one who is above the legal age of consent.

The bill will be part of a package of bills drafted in response to the Miramonte Elementary School sexual abuse scandal earlier this year. A veteran teacher at the school was arrested and charged with numerous crimes, after it was found that he had photographed children in various situations.

According to Representative Olsen, she was alerted to the need for legislation like this after she became aware of the James Hooker case. In that case, a 41-year-old high school teacher quit his job and left his family after he began a relationship with an 18-year-old student. The two have insisted that their sexual relationship only began after the student turned 18, and no charges have been filed against the man.

According to Olson, teachers, principals and other employees of a school are in a position of authority and power, and as such, it is important to make sure that these persons do not violate the trust that students and their parents have in them.

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