There seems to be different standards in Oklahoma for punishing male and female teachers for having sex with their students. If male teachers are caught having sex with a female student under the age of 18, it’s called rape and the male teacher goes to prison. If female teachers have sex with a male student under the age of 18, she given probation and no jail time.
And women keep hollering for equal rights?
In March 2012, Shasta Belty called her 17 year old son on his cell phone. According to the mother:
“He was reluctant to tell me but then he told me he was with Ms. Queen, Erin Queen. And I thought that name sounds familiar. And he said, ‘Mom, it’s my 5th-hour English teacher.’ And I died as a parent.”
Police were notified and they went to the Candlewood Suites hotel in Tulsa. They found the Belty’s son with 27 year old high school English teacher Erin Kathleen Queen. Queen was arrested and charged with second degree rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for providing a bottle of vodka to the student.
The aftermath of the arrest was swift and seemed to be more aimed at the Belty family and their son than at the teacher. The local newspaper reported:
“Within hours of Queen’s arrest, it seemed to the Beltys that the whole town of Sand Springs knew what had happened. Their son’s social circle grew smaller as friends and potential prom dates were prohibited from socializing with him. And as the lengthy legal process wore on, the options for his freshman year of college were limited by proximity so he could comply with subpoenas for his testimony.”
Shasta Belty added:
“People look at this as, ‘I don’t know why he’s complaining,’ you know? They haven’t been in our shoes. … They know nothing about it.”
For two years the Belty family has endured the social isolation and restrictions of their son’s college education. Then last month, Queen was allowed to plead guilty to the felony charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and the second degree rape charges were dropped and she had to relinquish her teacher’s license. Then Tulsa County Judge William Kellough sentenced Queen to a 3 year suspended sentence and fined her $600.
Queen will not serve any time in jail nor will she be given any community work to perform and the Belty family is outraged. Adam Belty, the boy’s father told the local news:
“I think it’s crap. Should it be rape? No. Should she be charged with a sexual count for something? Yes, but the way (it) was explained, there’s no count (less than) second-degree rape that they can charge her with.”
Shasta Belty commented:
“It’s very frustrating to us that she basically got a slap on the wrist.”
“I cussed. I cried. I totally disagreed with it. (Assistant District Attorney Amanda Self) was under the impression that we were OK with a conviction as long as (Queen) never taught again. Well, we were OK with a conviction of the second-degree rape … or something that represents the sexual misconduct.”
“If they’re not going to punish this law to the fullest extent of it, then there should be (a law against) sexual misconduct with students. There should be something.”
The district attorney’s office disagrees with the Belty family saying:
“We believe a felony conviction holds this teacher accountable under the circumstances of this case. After speaking to the victim and the family, our office decided this was in the best interests of justice.”
I can’t help but wonder had it been a male teacher and female student if the district attorney would have been so anxious to plea bargain and drop the rape charges?
The problem is that I keep hearing about more and more cases of teachers, male and female, having sex with their students. Instead of learning from the mistakes of others, they seem to be repeating them with more frequency. I would like to see every state pass a law that states if a teacher, male or female has any kind of sexual relation with a student in high school, junior or middle school or younger, regardless of age that the teacher will face a mandatory imprisonment of 25 years without the possibility of parole. Something drastic has to be done to protect our children from sexual predators disguised as teachers. Current laws are not doing anything to dissuade them so more drastic measures need to be implemented immediately!