Musings From the Bench 10/6 Edition

musings from the bench-2On June 9, 2014, I wrote about Montana teacher Stacey Rambold who was charged and pled guilty in the sexual intercourse without consent of a 14-year old female student who later committed suicide. The judge hearing the case, Judge G. Todd Baugh, felt Mr. Rambold had suffered enough with the loss of his job, loss of his house, and loss of his family due to divorce that he sentenced Mr. Rambold to 15 years in prison but suspended all but 31 days with one day served. This so outraged the community that the Judge was “encouraged” to retire and the sentence was overturned by Montana justices for being ‘unlawfully lenient’.

The community isn’t outraged any more. Rambold was re-sentenced by Judge Randal Spaulding on the one-year anniversary of the completion of his one-month sentence. He will now serve 10 years for the rape of Cherice Moralez. Rambold’s crime occurred in 2007, Cherice committed suicide in 2010, Rambold served his 31 days in 2013 and will now have to serve all ten years without the possibility of parole. He’ll be 65 years old should he survive the 10 years in prison. I sent the information about the new sentence to a friend of mine and he sent me an article he read in USA Today dealing with the rape of men.

Whenever I think about men getting raped, scratch that, I never think about men getting raped. Or at least not by women. Think the cable series ‘Oz’. But after reading that article, women can be the rapist and I’m not just talking about female teachers and their male students. In this case, the rape victim, whether the crime was reported or not, can find themselves facing victimization all over again. How, you ask? Should the rapist become pregnant as a result of her crime, the victim is forced to pay child support. How can this happen?

It all has to do with child support laws. I believe it was California that was the first to enact a law stating that any baby born while the husband and wife were married was considered to be the child of the husband even if it wasn’t, and therefore, he bore the financial responsibility. Doesn’t seem fair to me but I guess there were too many mothers and children on California’s welfare rolls after the husband divorced the wife. But to hold the rape victim to this standard is ridiculously outrageous. The child support laws are so strict they don’t have any leeway when it comes to the rape of men.

A 15-year old boy in California was raped by a 34-year old woman who gave birth and the courts declared ‘Victims have rights. Here, the victim also has responsibilities.’

In Kansas, the courts said the same thing when a 13-year old boy was raped by a 17-year old babysitter.

In Ohio, courts ordered child support be paid by a 15-year old boy who was raped by a 19-year old woman.

As I wrote in the beginning of this segment, I don’t think about men being raped by women, but according to the CDC ‘5 million men and boys have been “forced to penetrate” and that 80% of the perpetrators are women.’

Until male victims of rape are indeed seen as victims of rape and not perpetrators of sex, they will be legally required to support the child of their rapist for 18 years or more should that child go to college. The child support law has to be changed.

 

Then there’s the bizarre case in Peterborough, England that’s similar to the California law that children born while the parents are married to each other are considered the husband’s no matter what.

Richard Rodwell’s wife Helen would disappear from home for days at a time without telling Richard or their two teenaged children where she was going….no note, nothing, just up and leave. When she came back and Richard asked her where she went she’d tell him it had nothing to do with him. (She’s a real piece of work, that one) Then Richard heard whisperings around the neighborhood about his two children not being his and he had DNA testing done. Sure enough, his daughter Laura was fathered by another man as was his son Adam. The thing is, both children had different fathers.  Once the children found out he was not their Dad, they cut off all contact with him. Here is the man that had been the only father they knew, who paid $25,000 in child support after divorcing his wife. He believes Helen turned the children against him. (Told you she was a piece of work) Anyway, he sued his ex-wife for deceit and was awarded close to $40,000 in damages.

Because of the loss of the children he thought for nearly 2 decades were his, the court treated this case similar to one for bereavement as if both children had died in an accident. The judge went even further in the award due to the level of deceit and the fact that Mr. Rodwell’s second wife is beyond child bearing age. He also won a court order which forces his ex-wife to move out of their marital home. And to think if it weren’t for all the whispering neither Mr. Rodwell nor the children would ever have known the truth.  Forgive me for thinking Helen said something about getting away with it if it weren’t for those meddling neighbors.

 

We’ve all seen the commercials about bullying. The one where a middle school student says he gets called names every day, punched, pushed into walls, called gay and no one has ever tried to help him. Then comes the tag line ‘teach your child to be the one. The one that helps.’ You’ve got Hollywood celebrities banding together and supporting anti-bullying organizations such as Love Is Louder, DoSomething.org and Teens Against Bullying. Another of these is STOMP Out Bullying, a signature program of Love Our Children USA. “It teaches effective solutions on how to respond to all forms of bullying ; as well as educating kids and teens in school and online, providing help for those in need and at risk of suicide, raising awareness, peer mentoring in schools, public service announcements by celebrities, and social media campaigns. An additional focus educates parents on how to keep their children safe and responsible online.” But what happens when a student sees another being bullied and steps in to help? For one of the students in my community, he gets suspended from school. 

According to the Student Handbook, when a student sees another student being bullied, the observing student is to bring what he saw to an adult–teacher, building aide, even the Principal–standing alongside the victim in a show of support will only get the student in trouble, kind of like the third man in during a hockey fight. But what about an adult? Specifically, a teacher.

Fountain Hills, AZ–Pam Alster who has been teaching fourth grade for 25 years was suspended for an incident that happened in May of 2014. When she heard the school board was going to fire her over the summer, she appealed. A hearing was held on Monday, September 29th and the board voted to fire her. What had she done that warranted her firing? She defended an African-American student who was being bullied by five other boys who’d bothered him in the past. 

That’s right. An adult stepped in and lost her job for telling the bullies “(The bullied student) is in my room now. He is not alone. When you pick on him-you pick on me. It is not five to one anymore. It’s five to two. There will be no more taunting, teasing and racial names called. That is not acceptable here, Do you understand?”

So what happened to make the powers that be suspend her in May and fire her in September? One of the bullies went home after school and told his mother what the teacher said, Mom called the school to complain and it was decided that Pam Alster’s behavior was found to be threatening. And they wonder why kids being bullied bring guns to school or go home and commit suicide. Even with all the programs and all the advice, the bullies still have all the power.

 

Friend and fellow 7poundbag.com writer Joe of the WTF column usually ends his column with gratuitous pics and one worth a thousand words. While I won’t be posting any gratuitous pics, there is one worth a thousand words I found on Facebook. Actually, it has some words on it so I guess it’s a thousand and ten words.

 

 

blue stripe

 

Thanks for reading Musings From the Bench 10/6 Edition.  Until next time.

 

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About Jane Gray 58 Articles
Born in the '50s, grew up in the '60s, got married in the '70s. Gave birth in the '80s and started collecting social security in 2013. My time is my own and I don't mind sharing my opinions on everything with everybody. I hate injustice, the truth is easier to remember than a lie. I like the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, the New York Mets, and that English futbol team from Liverpool.

2 Comments

  1. Used to be this cartoonist, Jimmy Hatlo, from way back when, who hit on the tactic of asking readers to submit their own ideas for his cartoons. Hatlo picked the best submissions and credited each contributor by name, closing each cartoon with a box that read, “Thanx and a tip of the Hatlo Hat to…”

    So a tip of the hat to you for the props… friend…

    Making males, especially kids, who were either seduced/raped by older women makes no sense at all to me… something needs to be done in how the law is applied in these situations… that’s just my gut reaction…

  2. The way society sees the actions of these females has to change, too.
    A story was posted to facebook about two female teachers in their mid to late twenties who had a threesome with a 16-year old male student. A few of the comments were about the women being no better than rapists and should face the same punishment as a male teacher found to have raped a 16-year old female student, but the majority of comments were congratulating the 16-year old for having sex with not just one but two teachers. The Van Halen song “Hot For Teacher” was quoted a few times.
    The whole world has gone topsy turvy .

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