Too close for comfort

My son is an amazing kid, a good student, talented in many ways and fun to be around. I never thought anything about the fact that his English teacher last school year took special interest in him – he reads like a fiend and is generally bored in English class. I’m still hoping that her intentions were truly to encourage his scholarship and nothing more. Why would I wonder about that is an excellent question for anyone reading to be asking right now…

From our home town newspaper, The Times Union:

A 42-year-old former English teacher at Christian Brothers Academy was ordered to jail without bail Monday, accused of rape for two late-night trysts with an underage student — one allegedly in the press box at the school’s football field.

Sandra “Beth” Geisel, formerly of Long Shadow Drive, is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old male CBA student twice in May, including once at her Latham home, said Police Chief Steven Heider.

Geisel, who was fired from CBA in June…

I’m angry about this on a number of levels. First, and most outraged, as a mother. Second, as a tuition paying parent of a cadet at Christian Brothers Academy. Third, as a professional who works with youth. I find little to comfort me in this situation, from any angle. Yes, my son is safe… but the youthworker feels like that is very near “that you God for not making me a sinner or a tax collector.” Because, whether they participated willingly (it appears) or not, these relationships were inappropriate. NYPost.com has lurid details, to which I won’t link, though they are from written statements apparently obtained from police or witnesses (students) themselves. These relationships are a betrayal of the trust relationship my son has with his teachers, that we have with his school, that adults who work with youth in any capacity have to work hard to even avoid the slightest impression of existence. These relationships are an abuse of power by a person who ought to have known better – a grown woman, an educator, a parent. It makes me scream “WHAT WAS SHE THINKING!”

I fear for the first person who says to me, or even in my presence, that those boys (yes, one was underage, but several others were 17) deserve a pat on the back, or that ‘boys will be boys’… or anything even remotely similar. Yes, they could have known better too, but she is the grown up, the teacher, the mother of their classmate.

I want to do something produtive with my anger; I’m not sure what that is yet. You can pray with me there, if you would. Pray for the CBA community, the administration, the board of directors, the parents and the boys. Pray for Beth Geisel’s 4 children, estranged husband, and for her.

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