Local CBS News Affiliate Considers Teacher Accused of Child Rape “Hot”

meredith powellThe woman in the image to the left is a math teacher from Tacoma, Wa.  Her name is Meredith Claire Powell and she is currently under investigation for fondling, and possibly even tasting, teenage boy wieners.

Yeah… we don’t usually cover this sort of “news”/filth (we cover a completely different category of filth), but I couldn’t resist posting such a controversial and shocking headline.  I mean, that’s kind of the preferred approach with these sort of scandals; local newscasters somberly delivering the “facts” that are provided to them, leaving the implications of shock, appall, and judgment to the voice-overs used in the transitional promos.  From what I’ve already gathered since last evening, a confusing mix of contradictory information doesn’t wound or slow down the chosen narrative either.  Print it all and clean it up later.

So, here is the gist of what’s going down right now in the realm of local Washington State news: the 24 year old teacher from Lincoln High School has recently been sent on administrative leave by her employers while she is investigated and tried for engaging in inappropriate relationships with 2 of her male students and another student who was in her class the previous year.  According to court documents, the charges filed against her consist of 2 counts of Child Rape in the 3rd degree, which pertain to the 2 current students, with the first occurring “on or aboutJanuary 17th of this year and the second occurring during the period between the 17th and January 30th.  Both students were 15 at the time, but the first one recently turned 16.  There was also a 3rd charge of “communication with a minor for immoral purposes via electronic communication” which was supposedly committed against her former student, who is now 17-years-of-age.  The child rape charges are said to include an incident of her performing oral sex on one of the younger students (another report claims that it was with both) in her locked classroom and an incident of “fondling” and kissing the other, during or after a Martin Luther King assembly, depending on which report you read.  The charges apparently also involved her sending out a Snapchat image of herself nude in a bathtub to at least one of the students — possibly all 3 (again reports have been inconsistent).  She was arrested Thursday and faced her arraignment yesterday, Friday, February 7th 2014.   But… let’s just say that the information is still a little bit murky all around.

It appears that Powell was originally put on paid leave on Wednesday, but once she was officially charged, she was removed from the payroll.  All of the sources seem to report that the teacher actually confessed in detail to some of the charges, although she technically entered a “not guilty” plea in court on Friday and was released without bail on her own recognizance to live with her mother in Sequim, for the time being, due to having no prior offenses.  Based on the most consistent details and what I could read myself from the charge documents that were scanned across briefly in a King 5 News video report, Powell had initially exchanged her number with multiple students on New Years eve, which included among them all 3 of the males in question.  This was more than 2 weeks before any of the incidents for which she is being charged began.

Her reconnection and communication with the 17-year-old former student is said to have begun after he approached her for math help and to discuss “life issues.”  On January 24th or 25th, it is said that he texted her out of the blue to inform her that he was “turned on thinking about her.”  Now stating that she was drunk at the time, Powell admitted that she responded by letting him know that she thought that he was “hot too.”  The documents further state that the girlfriend of the student in question became aware of the communications between them and that Powell attempted to rectify the situation by sending her a letter of apology for the “promiscuous” and “inappropriate” comments and texts sent to her boyfriend.  Apparently, he was also spending a lot of time in her classroom, which made the girlfriend suspicious, but there is said to have never been any actual sexual contact between the teacher and this “victim” in particular.  On Tuesday, February 4th, the Tacoma School District contacted the police after receiving an anonymous tip about the teacher engaging in “inappropriate contact” with the student(s).  It seems very likely that the tip was provided by the girlfriend, who received the apology from Powell the day prior.  From there, the more graphic details of her interactions with the other 2 boys came out through interviews and the authorities are currently researching if there are any additional individuals involved in similar incidents with Meredith Powell.

hair cut powell

So, that’s just me laying down the news as informatively as I’ve been able to, considering the consistency of the information that I’ve come across.  And while the details are somewhat interesting, my only real interest in the case is in regards to the inevitable subtexts and the way that it’s all being handled and delivered to the public.  To get to my real motivation in covering this, of course, the context of the situation needed to be established first.

You can enlarge and watch the following video (below) from King County‘s local CBS affiliate Kiro News 7, which begins by listing such charges as “sex in the classroom” and claiming that Powellconfessed to it all” only later to state, with an equal level of definitiveness, that she only admitted to “some of the charges,” which included “kissing.”  It also later repeats that she’s “accused of having sex with at least 2 male students” although most of the reports that I’ve read elsewhere repeatedly clarify that no actual intercourse ever occurred.

The Mail Online article is even more scattered, as it jumps from stating that the teacher had sent the nude bathtub photo to all 3 students, and later reporting that it was sent to a single student, only to change it up yet again to the less assured claim that it was possibly received by all 3; all within the same article.  Even worse is the headline used for the piece, “Math teacher, 24, ‘raped two of her students – one aged just 15 – and sent sexual photos to a third” considering that she has yet to be convicted and was released from court with a plea of not guilty.  One minute she engaged in oral sex with one student and the next it was with 2 of them.

There’s no shortage of “facts” and information out there, but there’s a huge shortage of consistency.  Still, that doesn’t seem to prevent the information from being released.  The level of recklessness in the media is at an offensive level, especially in situations that concern such sensitive topics and the potential destruction of someone’s credibility, public image, and ability to provide for themselves, now or ever again.  Furthermore, these are claims referring to sensitive details regarding the lives of the actual school-aged victims and their teacher, which their fellow students are likely following.  While Powell‘s guilt doesn’t really seem to be in question — only at what level — it’s just something to consider regarding all of the information that we regularly receive from the media and how much we can rely on any of these specific sources to deliver it accurately.

Am I implying that Meredith Powell is likely innocent of engaging in extremely questionable activities with her students?  Nope.  I don’t think that any objective person could take that angle, if she did indeed admit to ANY of the charges brought against her, but I still believe that accuracy should be a higher priority for some of these outlets.  Washington State already became home to what is, arguably, the most infamous case of this sort, when Mary Kay Letourneu — a married 34-year-old mother of 4 and teacher at Burien‘s Shoreline Elementary, at the time — engaged in what is still an ongoing sexual relationship with student, Villi Fualauu (age 12 at the time), who she originally met when he was merely a student in her 2nd grade class.  Even if Powell hadn’t confessed, the court of public opinion is a powerful one, especially when such a high profile and vile precedent already exists.

At least one student is responsible for putting together a “Free Powell” Facebook page to support their teacher.  It quickly gained followers, but a recent defensive post from the group states “Just so you few people that waste your time spamming me, I made this before Powell even went to court, I don’t need your two cents so take it somewhere else.”  The page clearly reflects a student(s)’ own inabilities to comprehend what has occurred and how to process it, themselves.  That the figure that they were so adamantly defending plead guilty, has now left the page administrator defending themselves.  Since that post, here are the few that have followed:

“People continue to say that this page is only up because Powell is a woman and they claim it would be a different story if the offender was a male but that is not true, this has nothing to do with gender.”

“Also, this page was not made for her because she is “hot” looking. Most of us are/were who students who shared our stories with her and got to know her. No one saw this coming, we all noticed the boys always hitting her but we never would have guessed she would have done anything.”

“I’m almost sure the students involved were not traumatized considering they could have
1. Said no and left.
2. Report it immediately after.
But neither of those happened and it wasn’t even the any of the victims that went forward and reported it, it was the victims girlfriend after getting an apology note from Powell.”

Aside from helping to unwittingly discredit Powell further, these posts and their comment sections are a pretty solid reflection of where a discussion like this is inevitably bound to venture — “every teenage boy’s dream” etc. etc.  The point, of course, is that Powell was in a position of authority and engaging in such relations is an egregious violation of that authority.  There are plenty of young female students who lust after “dreamy” teachers themselves, but anyone that says that if a male teacher had sex with one of them, let alone 3, it wouldn’t yield a different response, is lying to themselves out loud.  Of course it would, and if the point that they could have “said no and left” or “report it immediately after” was brought about in defense of the situation, the response to that would be that the teacher abused the trust of the student and his position, that it would likely have permanent damaging effects on the students’ ability to move forward emotionally and ever engage in a healthy intimate relationship at some point in the future, and that it can be both embarrassing and frightening to come out with such accusations against an authority figure.

MEREDITH CLAIRE POWELLIf anything, it could be even more embarrassing and less likely to be taken seriously coming from a male as it is in this scenario, because, as demonstrated, it’s not as easy to convince anyone that these students would be opposed to what happened to them.  In fact, I don’t necessarily believe that they were “opposed” to it either, but my son probably wouldn’t be opposed to me letting him watch nothing but Robocop, allowing him to view graphic pornography (because it would confuse/intrigue him), feeding him nothing but Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip, and allowing him run to around without shoes in the cold and never take a nap, but it’s all fucked up stuff that could damage his well being and/or psyche in the long run and, as an authority figure, it’s my responsibility to not be so careless and dismissive of what’s best for his development.  If you really put yourself in the position of a 15-year-old student that has to explain to cops in detail about how a teacher put your penis into their mouth in the classroom, it does paint a picture that seems fairly uncomfortable, at best, especially when you know that you’re in a position that could help to destroy somebody else’s life.  If they felt abused by her, then it’s already fucked up.  And If they didn’t, well.. now they’re partially responsible for her potentially losing her job and being incarcerated.  And, If one or more of them did initiate the contact — extremely ballsy, by the way, and not something that alleviates responsibility from Powell — that amplifies the guilt factor, even more.  I’m sure that their fellow students are doing their part to remind them of that.

Is it wrong to have a Facebook page in support of Meredith Powell, created by and for what appears to be an impressive number of students who she affected in a positive way?  Misguided maybe, when they’re calling for her freedom, but there’s nothing wrong with a support page, since it seems as if they’re the ones who could use support from each other, right now —  that alone disproves that her actions haven’t affected the students and the school, or tampered with their concepts of trust in any substantial way.  But what has likely been the most damaging is all of the early posts and comments on the page from those “appalled at the audacity of the student who accused her of such a horrible crime,” in turn, essentially accusing the victims of a “horrible crime,” themselves.  Where’s the Facebook page in support of the kids that Powell touched in a more physical (and illegal) fashion?

In one extremely diplomatic, polite, and thoughtful post, one woman named Britany Decker included the following insight to consider:

“If it did happen then you are rallying against your peers. Subjugating them and making them feel even more lonely then [sic] they are already.”

In one of the only level headed responses on the page, the page administrator resplied with the following:

“This is just a support page for her, and if the accusations are real it will come down immediately, also if there are victims i am not trying to hurt them anymore than they’ve already been.”

The paperwork came out stating that she admitted to the crimes, but the page is, obviously, still up (the excuse being that she technically plead “not guilty”).  Eventually, Meredith herself even came on to leave a simple thanks for the support on the page.  But, in all fairness, how can you take the page down now that it has hundreds of followers and you have, indirectly, found your way into your own center of attention?  In this age?  Forget about it.  Also forget about the fact that one of Powell’s charges is related to electronic communication and that she’s been ordered by the court not to engage with minors other than those within her immediate family.  Meanwhile, posters and commenters continue to explain in detail why the victims aren’t actually “victims” and adamantly deny that her gender has any bearing on their stances and interpretation of the details whatsoever, while the voices which try to educate them otherwise are met with disdain or fall on deaf ears.  It does kind of sink their logic when they claim that her gender is a non-factor, while explaining that it’s a non-factor, specifically, because the victims were teenage boys.  But that’s only if you think about it, and why would anybody bother to think about anything?  This is about chaotic momentum, emotional confusion, and grasping for rationale in murky terrain where there doesn’t seem to be much of it.

But, all of this isn’t really anything new; this is the conversation that’s expected to take place and, for whatever reason, there has been a really insane pattern of physically attractive young female teachers engaging in sexual contact with their students.  One particular incident even involved a 27-year-old former NFL cheerleader-turned-teacher named Sarah Jones, who was arrested after repeated sexual encounters with a 17-year-old student, who she later left her husband for.  Even if it was David Beckham or Ryan Gosling as the male teacher having sex with teenage students, people would be irate.  In fact, men would probably be even more pissed off about some suave cat nailing everybody’s “impressionable” daughters.  So let’s get serious and actually go to that vile place that nobody wants to for a minute; does anybody honestly believe that if some man was teaching a math class and ate out a couple of 15-year-old girls and sent them dick pics, that nobody would find ANY issue with that?  To try and defend that hypothetical as if it would be acceptable or embraced is beyond stubborn; it’s fucking ridiculous.

But this is a “news” story and it’s one that we actually have absolutely no intention of following up on.  It brings in the TV ratings and it’s easy enough to report or post inaccurate information on the web, knowing that, if an issue of accuracy arises, then you can always just post/air a retraction, regardless of the fact that many who read/see the first account will not likely ever see the followup.  What amused me and prompted me to post anything at all, in the first place, however, is the fact that I stumbled across something that most people will never notice and I wanted to bring attention to it.  Theoretically, a case like this should be addressed for what it is: a crime.  The appearance of the individuals involved should have no bearing on the interpreted severity of the acts reported on and any “professional” news outlets should be impartial, regarding such things.  As the Free Powell Facebook page claimed, it’s not about the idea that the teacher is “hot“… or, at least, maybe it shouldn’t be.  That idea shouldn’t even be injected into part of the equation.  But, hey… check this out:

hot_teacher_bar_copy

This image above is taken from the homepage for KIROTV.com, the local CBS affiliate which also posted the video further up.  If a reader were to place the cursor over the original copy of this image on the KIRO news site, a tiny description would pop up that simply reads “Meredith Powell” and, if the image is clicked, it takes the reader directly to their coverage of the case on the site.  Its hyperlink does not take them to the location of the media file/image itself, but if you do want to see the image source, it’s easy enough: just right click, copy image location, and post it in the address bar, as you would with anything else.  If you did that, you would discover that the image source URL is as follows: .http://media.cmgdigital.com/shared/img/photos/2014/02/07/d4/dd/hot_teacher_bar_copy.jpg

If you were to simply “save” the image, without changing anything, it would download it with the title “hot_teacher_bar_copy,” just like it appears in the slug at the end of that media file URL.  The actual image doesn’t seem to be located directly on the KIRO TV site, however; it seems to be located on the site for The Cox Media Group (cmgdigital.com), so it’s possible that other affiliated outlets are using the image (it does say “copy”), as well, and that it was uploaded by someone that isn’t directly operating from KIRO News 7, at all, but rather a parent company.  Still, it’s a reflection on what manner at least one person involved in the media considers the case to exist in it’s most stripped down form.  It’s not about a perpetrator, “it’s about a hot teacher.”  That’s something that we might do, but it’s surprising coming from a source that represents itself as a non-bias major news organization with integrity.

I’ve labeled/titled more images than I could ever count on this site and, when I do so, I typically shoot for 2 things.  The first is something that sums up the way that I view the image at it’s core, in the simplest way possible.  The second is something that differentiates it from other images, so that I can tell them apart by the title alone.  The shape of this photo is a “bar,” so that inclusion in the title makes sense.  Other than that, whoever loaded the image didn’t connect to the image as “child rape suspect,” “Powell trio,”  “Tacoma teacher scandal,” or anything else, but boiled it down simply to “hot teacher.”  Then they masked it by adding the description of “Meredith Powell” so that would pop up when the cursor was placed over it, rather than the actual title assigned to it.  To them this is a case of the “hot teacher,” pure and simple and, if we’re being honest, that’s what it is to a lot of people  Is that in itself a scandal?  No, I think that’s a bit of a stretch, but it did amuse me and it is another reflection of the level of seriousness this situation is honestly being interpreted with across the board.  The focus is on the teacher and her appearance and not the students, or the idea that anyone was victimized.  I’m sure that when millions of men of all ages see this story, they will ask themselves, “Really?!  Is anyone honestly going to take this shit seriously?!”  I’m sure that there are plenty of people that aren’t even convinced that they should, but one thing is for sure, when the news organizations that people rely on to provide this information to them are making light of it, even if they aren’t attempting to do it publicly, it’s probably still a discussion that deserves to be had.

Overall, the most thorough and accurate article to come out is from the New Tribune, wherein it explains the following:

“Shannon McMinimee, the school district’s attorney, confirmed that Powell had completed required school district training that warns employees about what constitutes risky behavior with students, including suggestive text messages and social media posts or spending time alone behind closed doors with them.

Last week, McMinimee said, reminders about the school district’s policies, as well as copies of the policies, were sent to all employees.

She also said that administrators at Lincoln spoke to Powell when she was hired about her social media presence. Nevertheless, Powell wrote a blog, “Math. Mermaids. Meow,” in which she sometimes mentioned students.”

Since then, her blog has become privatized, as well as her twitter account.

I was originally just trying to do a quick search to see what she looked like, as one does after hearing that there was a scandal somewhere.  Because of Google images, I noticed the “hot teacher” URL, which has since spawned this entire fiasco that you’re presently reading.  Looking for images for this article, I stumbled across Meredith‘s Pinterest page, as well.  If you look through there briefly, or even just through Google images, you can figure out a few things about her fairly quickly.  She has a number of siblings and a close family that she seems to really love.  She wears ugly cat Christmas sweaters every December and takes photographs in them.  She’s got a designer fashion habit — Citizens of Humanity, Free Peoples, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, etc. — that probably isn’t the most fiscally responsible with a teachers salary.  She seems obsessed with weddings — she has a whole pinterest board with wedding shit, which might be related to being the maid of honor in her “best friend’s wedding” last fall, but everything from her profile photo on, is wedding related.  And one more thing, she didn’t used to be fat, but she, apparently, believes that she was.

Here… check these photos out:

If you click the thumbnail images above, you can view the shots, one by one, in a slideshow format.  You’ll notice the unflattering captions that I’ve placed under each one and there’s a reason for that.  Remember how I explained the concept of saving and/or uploading images under certain file names and how the labels used can often reflect a glimpse of hidden truth about the thought processes of the individuals titling them?  Well, those are the titles that Meredith herself ascribed to each of her 3 photos.  In other words, that’s the automatic label provided to them, as they are downloaded.  On Pinterest, however, they are captioned as follows [from left to right] #transformationtuesday #weightloss ; “How I lost 25 pounds. #weightloss ; and “Math. Mermaids. Meow.: Transformation Tuesday, Six Years of It. #transformationtuesday.”  They were all posted 13 weeks ago on her blog.  And, while you can’t access the blog without permission these days, you can still take the URL of the blog and insert it into a google image search, which will actually provide you with better/direct access to the images within the posts.  Accessing them through that method also provides the additional text: “… pretty happy about it. It may be a small change, but I notice and like it. Hope it can motivate you? Drink lots of water and don’t eat to entertain.” (middle image) and “Left: Thanksgiving freshmen year. 2007. Right: Showing Nicolett my tattoo. 2013.” (right image in the blue bra).

meredith and dogSo, what are the final lessons here?  One is that nobody wins.  If you look into someone’s life like that, it becomes about more than caricatures or teenage fantasies.  It becomes about more than just the perpetrators, or even the victims.  It also becomes about the families of everyone involved and the people that are questioning their ability to not only trust others, but their own judgment, as well.  How is Meredith‘s family reacting to this?  They’re clearly devastated.  How are the kids who are trying to support one of the only faculty members that they ever gave a shit about, but are being asked to remove their “Free Powell” shirts and slowly finding themselves on the wrong side of this whole mess?  Probably not well, but, from what I’ve seen, they should probably pay more attention in English class.

Another lesson is that it’s 2014 and I just turned 35-years-old this week, but still managed to maneuver my way around the internet to find out all kinds of crazy shit that the mainstream media, apparently, doesn’t have anybody on staff, either dedicated to, or capable of, locating.  Leaving silly inside comments like “hot teacher” probably isn’t the best idea, but posting images of yourself showing off your tattoo in a bra when you are a high school teacher, is an even more terrible idea.  If I was able to find shit like that, her students, which are actually being raised in this internet age, probably located that photo, as well.  I wasn’t even looking for it, and I’m sure that some of them were.  Of course, Snapchatting nude photos to the students and putting their penises in your mouth is worse than either of those things, but that probably goes without saying at this point.

Finally, imagine this: You went to high school and everything was confusing.  You never really got the hang of the whole thing and you didn’t feel very good about your self image while you were there — you considered yourself “chunky.”  Only a handful of years later, you have a chance to return, except this time around you don’t feel so insecure; you are 100 times more confident in your fashion sense and your outward appearance.  In fact, you’re a teacher, so you’re a dominant force in this environment; old enough to draw respect and wield authority, but young enough to be considered among the hippest in your ranks.  You’ve got your own paycheck and can afford to wear all of the trendiest shit now.  In fact, this time, the girls think that you’re cool and the guys actually think that you’re really hot — you can feel it.  You’ve been given a second shot at this whole thing.  Meanwhile, your best friend is getting married and you’re not.  The power of your self image dominates you enough, but being in a position of authority, balances it out a bit — some dude isn’t going to work you over and reject you in this scenario, because the dynamic where they’re superior to you (even if it’s just in your mind) doesn’t exist.

Does this scenario have any level of truth to it?  I don’t know, but I’ve already gone so Matlock on this shit, by this point, that it’s worth throwing that potentiality out there into the ether.  The dots would line up.  But even if that does play a factor in whatever went down in this case, it by no means exonerates Meredith Powell of responsibility.  It’s just a reminder that everybody is a little fucked up in the head, but you need to get a hold of whatever bullshit exists in there and not feed into it.  Just because you’ve been damaged, it doesn’t really give you a free pass to do things that could potentially damage others.  If you can’t manage to get a hold of that shit, then you need to be removed from those who you could potentially damage.

Now here’s something counterproductive:


[Side note: Yes, I do feel slightly guilty for any traffic we yield based on searches for “child rape,” but hey, it’s hard to argue that it would be better to detour them here than to wherever they are attempting to get.]

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Flickr - YouTube

  • Seymour

    You mean to say that after nearly two decades, you can’t even get Mary Kay LeTourneau’s middle name correct? And yet you’re here bitching about the media getting things right?

    • Dead_C

      Yeah, because a typo is the equivalent of a rape accusation. “after nearly two decades…”? You write that as if I’ve been following her “career” and am STILL having problems with it.

      So, you mean to say that, after nearly 5,000 words, this is the one flaw that you’ve found in the reasoning of this article and the only thing that you’re capable of adding to this discussion – that I accidentally left the “e” on? Or was your intention to reinforce the actual point, which is that people are focusing on the most trivial aspects of this situation, rather than humanizing those affected by it and considering the larger picture?

  • Yare Time

    Wow probably the hottest teacher that was caught yet. Where was this woman when I was in high school. lol

  • Bryan

    Dead C, we agree on 99% of the issue of this case. As a matter of fact, I see only 1 fundamental difference in our thinking; I do not feel it has damaged the boys, and I will tell you why. I was a “victim” myself. I was 17 and she was 23. I will not delve into the specifics of it, and I have still never told anyone her name to avoid any potential backlash on her. I can still picture those times as clearly now as ever, and I will be 40 in a couple of years. It was tense, because I knew she could get in serious trouble over it, but she was kind, gentle, open, and completely tolerant of my sexual immaturity. It was a much more relaxed feeling with her than previous girlfriends. If there was any damage done to me, it was feeling that I would never find another woman like her after we broke things off 2 years later. The fact that she was a teacher, (which was an initial turn-on point for me) took a backseat to how gentle and understanding she was. In fact, were it not for her, I probably would have knocked a girl up before 20 as it was her that impressed on me the importance of birth control. I still today, after 6 years of marriage to a woman that I love more deeply than anything, remember back fondly on that teacher. I am, in fact, still friends with her and talk to her on Facebook, but as far as anyone knows, she was just an old high school teacher. I’m not saying what Meredith Powell did was a smart thing to do, the law is the law, however misguided, but I am saying that anything she may or may not have done is almost certainly not “damaging”.

    • Dead_C

      Hey Brian,

      First of all, I appreciate your willingness to share your story, because it’s a lot more revealing and insightful than the shit that’s been going down on most comment sections elsewhere. At first, when I read your above response in my inbox, I assumed that this was a response that came from over on the Seattle Weekly page to a response that I myself had left to one of your most recent comments there. Apparently, they never approved my post, but I appreciate you reading this article and commenting on/responding to it.

      The fact that you claim that the boys are “almost certainly” not damaged, is definitely where we differ in our opinions. I feel that the one thing that brings credibility to your perspective is also the one thing that may compromise it; your first hand experience. While you have insight into how you specifically experienced a similar situation, as most of us don’t, you may also be basing far too much of your views on that personal experience. What I’ve read from you up until this point has been a complete rejection of the possibility that this is an issue on any level and I feel that’s an extreme angle to take.

      Whether or not you feel that the actions were damaging or the fact that she was caught and punished is where the real issues begin, Powell was still willing to put these kids in a situation which she knew could result in the manner that it has. The students at the school are publicly shaming the victims and blaming them for what’s happening with their beloved “innocent” teacher and they are in a position to feel some level of guilt for her incarceration and loss of position, if nothing esle. Many have accused them of lying and, after she admitted it, her plea of not guilty, still puts them in the position of being accused of false accusations, simply for responding to their police interrogations honestly. You didn’t have to face those repercussions, but they will and are.

      Also, as you describe your scenario, your teacher (if she was, in fact, “your” teacher, rather than just “a” teacher) evolved into a longtime relationship with an nurturing figure that you cared for, so it sounds as if emotions were involved. It’s possible that none of the students involved with Powell realized that she was fucking around with multiple other kids and, if they did feel an attachment to her, they could be emotionally wounded in that regard. The details imply that it was all physical, since it carelessly involved multiple students, which feels like she’s taking (regardless of if she gave one a blow job) from their emotional ability to process things, rather than feeding into and nurturing that maturity. Physical objectification, whether towards them or towards her, is still one of the messages that seems to be being projected in this scenario. There are too many potentialities and factors to simply dismiss this case as “they weren’t affected,” “they enjoyed it, so it’s fine,” and/or “this is ridiculous, Powell did nothing wrong,” without examining this entire scenario further. That’s what the courtroom is for.

      Also, you were 17 and the teacher was 23, which does make for a stronger case, considering that you were only 6 years apart, rather than 9, like these 15 year olds were. You were, statistically, most likely finished with puberty, not right in the middle of it. Also, you had prior sexual experiences, which these boys didn’t necessarily have, so their first “relationships” were quite likely with an older woman, that they were supposed to view as an authority figure, who was passing herself around and expecting them to hold that experience in for, at least, the next 3 years. Their first experience with sexuality might have been one that associated shame and secrecy. I’m not convinced that’s providing a great foundation for emotional maturity, healthy functionality, and understanding in the future.

      I’m not going to accuse you of lying about your situation or what you took away from it, because you seem genuine, but I definitely don’t believe that the possibility that there could be any negative effects on ANY other minors that experience situations such as this, is something that can be completely written off, as you’ve continued to do. To me, that logic seems similar to someone that enjoyed S&M claiming that there’s no way that spousal abuse is real, simply because they personally enjoy being choked. It’s much more likely that you had an experience that, for whatever reason — mostly, the specifics that you mentioned — did not result in any noticeably negative effects, and might have actually been a positive for you, rather than the idea that this behavior of pursuing underage students as an authority figure and educator should be handled with a blind eye, because it’s a non issue, with no potentially damaging repercussions, across the board.

      • Dead_C

        Also, while I feel that the discussion on my site is already starting out as a more productive one than on the Seattle Weekly page, and I realize that I probably shouldn’t risk rupturing that dynamic at this point by stepping backwards, I still would like to address your statements from that comment section which I took issue with, by posting my original response, which the Weekly failed to moderate and approve.

        Under their article, you made the following statements in addressing what you feel the difference would be with a gender reversal:
        “It’s not acceptable then because she would clearly have a problem with it, the boys obviously didn’t.”

        You also spoke of “narrow mindedness” people lost in “fantasy” about dealing with “reality” and implied that I had “no case.” At the end, you encouraged me to take a poll of 2 independent groups consisting of 20 strangers to see how one would respond to a female teacher as the predator in this scenario, while asking the other group how they would feel about the inverse.

        So, here is/was my response to that logic…

        You were missing a huge point and that point is that much of society does
        hold onto a skewed, imbalanced, and archaic views. To try and respond to
        that point by repeating that society has a skewed view, reinforces the
        point that works against that logic, rather than the point that you were attempting to make.

        Consider another challenge, go back to 1860 and ask people about their views on
        slavery and if they believe that black people have human souls or
        deserve equal treatment. You can even look at the history of womens
        rights. Some people speak out when injustices are happening, regardless
        of popular opinion, especially when popular opinion breeds those
        injustices. Sometimes laws that are made, are made to readjust society,
        not to reflect it, because plenty of people continued to harass and
        even physically assault African Americans and women, regardless of the
        law, because they didn’t agree with these readjustments and how it
        affected their own agendas. People are still adjusting to these
        concepts, or refusing to. The outrage that people are having to this
        situation is coming from the lack of outrage in this situation, and the
        justification of it. That’s the whole point. Humans will exploit each
        other to their own benefit and will continue to do so, unless
        repercussions are in place. That’s the fundamental reasoning behind having laws in
        the first place.

        Regarding your
        claim that girls would “clearly” have a problem, if the situation was
        reversed, and that these boys didn’t, also feels incredibly flawed. I’d say
        that there is a much larger precedent of young girls pasting images of
        “sexy” male celebrities who they fantasize about all over their walls
        and lockers, than the reverse, but when they sleep with a teacher they
        are victimized by an authority figure and viewed as exploited. They are
        viewed as weak, and not because they are minors that didn’t understand
        what was happening to them, the consequences, or how to remove themselves from the
        situation, but because they are women. The views that you present come across as
        sexist views and assumptions based on your fundamental beliefs about
        females as a species.

        That’s actually one of the concerns
        regarding the sexualization of children and what the victims
        experienced; their perspectives about relationships, gender issues, and
        sexuality can easily become warped and damaged, because of them.
        Whether or not the female is in the position of the student or the
        position of authority, she is still being widely objectified by those who embrace your
        interpretation. As the student, she is manipulated, “exploited” and
        used for sexual purposes by an authority figure, so it’s wrong. In
        other words, she would have a problem with it. With the reversal of roles, the
        teacher is the one being “used” by the students, so the fact that she is
        the authority figure makes it alright, because she’s old enough to make
        the decision for herself. Either way, the female is the objectified
        figure “taking it” and the male is the perpetrator. Those views on women
        are regressive, at best, but I get the feeling that you believe that
        you are sticking up for and supporting the female rights in this case,
        while, in reality, you are actually giving very little credit to women
        as a whole. Those views are not progressive, they are sexist and
        oppressive. That’s not supportive of Meredith Powell as a women whose
        rights are being trampled, it is supportive of the right to exploit
        sexuality and maintain the imbalanced public perception of it. I wonder
        what the public view would be on a female teacher engaging with a
        female student, or with a male and a male? And depending on that
        response, I wonder how it would reflect other progressive views on
        sexuality and gender. Your idea of polling strangers, isn’t a bad one, but the list of questions and scenarios should be expanded.

        If your point is to look at this situation
        objectively, while claiming that there are fundamental differences
        between genders, that sinks that narrative even more. Scientifically,
        women are considered to mature earlier and faster than males, which,
        technically, would actually increase the gap in maturity between the
        individuals involved in this case even more than if the genders were
        reversed. Since you reject the example of a gender reversal and
        sleeping with a 10 year old as being a relevant comparison, because you
        didn’t personally hit puberty until later, it might help you to know
        that, on average, girls begin puberty around 10 – 11, with boys
        beginning it at 11 – 12. Studies further show that males don’t
        generally even complete puberty until at least 16 – 17. In this case,
        the boys who had contact with Powell, were both 15 at the time. If you
        feel like venturing into history to support past concepts about sexual
        maturity, please note that, in recent centuries, puberty has begun
        earlier, much of which is because of such reasons as diet and
        environmental factors. Adolescent maturity, on the other hand, is a
        completely separate issue, and something that many could even argue is
        moving in the opposite direction, with less and less responsibility
        placed on children and required of them.

        As for the way that the
        culture has developed (a concept which you’ve mentioned repeatedly), it has developed to the point where, based on
        studies and historical evidence, what has occurred at
        Lincoln Elementary is considered to show a high level of potentiality
        to be detrimental and that it is a crime. The statistics are not on the
        side of your own one-dimensional “narrow minded” views, of which you’ve accused me of. They do not
        promote your own individual “fantasies” of a teenage boy, who doesn’t
        take into account the larger picture or the potential emotional effects and
        repercussions.

        You state that the boys didn’t have a problem with it, but I
        probably would have enjoyed doing mounds of free cocaine when I was 15,
        if I was introduced to it and presented with it by a teacher. I would have
        liked the physical sensation, but that doesn’t mean that it should have
        been supplied to me, encouraged, that it wouldn’t create future
        repercussions, or that I had the mental maturity to handle my shit. The fact that a 15 year old would want to do something,
        or enjoy it, alonge, isn’t much of a case. If you located and spent time
        watching a bunch of youtube videos made by 15 year olds, I would venture
        that you might be able to separate your current mindset as an adult
        remembering your teenage desires, and realize what the average 15 year old’s mind
        is really like, including their lack of maturity and comprehension,
        flawed self image, and inability to process emotions at that age.

        Poll
        20 parents. Poll 20 females. Polling 20 young men, or aging creepy
        dudes, is probably going to give you the results that you believe it will, but,
        like I said, if you go poll certain demographics in certain areas,
        you’re probably going to hear that “queers don’t deserve to live,” that
        “women shouldn’t leave the kitchen,” and that “blacks are lazy and
        ignorant.” It still seems like a superficial argument by based on
        superficial factors and superficial desires. There’s a lot more involved in this case than simply, “girls are affected by these things” and “there’s no way that anything foul was done if it involves young boys.”

  • James

    Chris, I understand how difficult it is to change one’s beliefs, especially ones so deeply ingrained. I would like to apologize for some of my harshest remarks, for in giving you the benefit of the doubt, in all likelihood, you couldn’t help yourself. While I do not have a degree, the fact is, I have become something of an expert on this subject, following years of investigation and research. Not with the intent or motives you have implied. My research began in response to a group who were advocates for the death penalty for child molesters. I am against the DP, and I wanted to know if the justifications these people were claiming were valid ones. In fact, none of them were valid. The reality is, Powell is not a sick deviant. And those boys are not scarred for life. The Rind study is but one small piece of the puzzle. There is the DSM-IV. You should read the section on mental disorders as pertains to paraphilias, such as hebophilia, and pedophilia. Like it or not, this IS about religious beliefs. And our society has been systematically lied to … all to stop premarital sex. I’ll be back to continue this later.

    • Dead_C

      It definitely does sound as if your beliefs are “deeply ingrained” and difficult to change. Wherever they come from, intense research or otherwise, you are on a mission to spread information and expose what you believe has been concealed from the public. Nobody’s interested. In focusing on whatever crusade you are on, you operate in an extremely condescending manner and continue to do so, fabricating narratives where they don’t exist and spewing unfounded accusations toward everyone. You’re implication is that they are supporting or endorsing all manners of bullshit that they don’t connect to or identify with, just because it doesn’t fit within your particular focus or area of “expertise.” You’ve demonstrated an inability to think or communicate outside of your own comfort zone, redirecting everything back to the 1 or 2 key “points” that you want everything to be about, even when the conversation has absolutely nothing to do with what you’re trying to mold it into. This is exactly why you bounced all over that poor girl’s Facebook page, reposting the same fucking quotes, regardless of what was being discussed or posted about. Outside of that narrative, the conversation dies and just becomes you repeating the same things over and over again, which aren’t nearly as profound or relevant as you seem to believe them to be. Your disregard for the human element and specifics of the conversation is a direct reflection of your lack of acknowledgment and/or understanding of the greater human element at large. The fact that you embrace a controversy which, at its core, concerns people because it pertains to recklessness and the lack of consideration for how it may effect others, it not surprising.

      Whatever you’ve read, there is endless information that you have not, and endless aspects which you refuse to consider. The conflict with you seems to be that you’ve determined that, if people do not agree with your studies — and more importantly, the way in which you’ve interpreted them or chosen to deliver them — then they are single-minded and applying ignorant, misinformed concepts across the board without analyzing the specifics of the situations for what they are. The irony, however, is that is exactly what you’re doing. You’re applying whatever information you’ve studied and this one singular concept that you’re obsessed with and believe to be true to every situation, without considering the specifics to the specific situations at hand. You generalize, while accusing others of doing so. Meanwhile, you are completely dismissive of the individuals involved. The human and emotion aspects and realities take a back seat to whatever sterile, soulless piece of information you’ve chosen to desperately cling to. But in the way that you wield your beliefs and reject how you may be trampling over others, it reflects your own self-importance and how you draw it from being able to commandeer someone else’s forum, in an attempt to reposition the spotlight toward yourself. It’s not truth-based, it’s attention and ego-based.

      I can also claim somewhat of an expertise, as far as counseling various individuals over the years, regarding emotional trauma and the different ways in which people process information, but I would cite more direct involvement and interaction, than in putting my faith in one document that I’ve read, while attacking another. The dismissive attitude that you demonstrate regarding the idea that ANYONE could be negatively affected by a situation, just because you’ve learned that there might have been a “Christian agenda” somewhere in the far distant past, regarding some worthless law, is ridiculous. Sit down with someone that’s experiencing emotional trauma and point to your documents — “I’m sorry, but that’s impossible. It states right here that you’re not really experiencing the emotions that you believe. The Christians are behind it.”

      It doesn’t matter if historically a law was instigated for a particular purpose or with a particular agenda in mind, but you’re obsessed with Christian extremism and systematic lies. Meanwhile, the article above is about the motivations of a media pushing whatever fits their narratives and serves their purposes, regardless of the facts that pertain to THIS particular case.

      I have a couple of psychological and behavioral science references to pull up myself. Have you heard the proverb that, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail? Here… I’ll just pull the following from the following, wikipedia link, since they’ve consolidated the point regarding that saying for me already.

      http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/if_all_you_have_is_a_hammer,_everything_looks_like_a_nail

      Etymology:

      Likely traditional. In this form, perhaps from Abraham Maslow, The Psychology of Science, 1966, page 15 and his earlier book Abraham H. Maslow (1962), Toward a Psychology of Being:

      “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

      Similar concept by Abraham Kaplan, The Conduct of Inquiry: Methodology for Behavioral Science, 1964, page 28:

      “I call it the law of the instrument, and it may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.”

      Labeled “Baruch’s Observation” (after Bernard Baruch) in The Complete Murphy’s Law: A Definitive Collection (1991) by Arthur Bloch.

      Also often attributed, without citation, to Mark Twain (for example in Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind, page 8).

      Proverb

      if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail

      1.) With limited tools, single-minded people apply them inappropriately or indiscriminately

      2.) If a person is familiar with a certain, single subject, or has with them a certain, single instrument, they may have a confirmation bias to believe that it is the answer to/involved in everything.

      What I’m saying is that you have acted single-mindedly and are not only applying your single-mindedness indiscriminately, but extremely inappropriately.

      If you would drop your bullshit, let go of your leaden life raft for a minute, and think objectively — not while moving around within the limited safety zone that you need to remain in, so that you can redirect the conversation back to the issue that you have with the same law that I have no interest in, but legitimately objectively — you might have been able to recognize your Westboro Baptist Church methodology.

      Maybe you could consider the purpose of the Free Powell page, as far as it concerns and serves, or fails to serve, the intention of the 9th grade girl who created it. The fact that it was created at all is a direct reflection of the emotional effects of the situation on those who are even only secondary parties to it. You can blame the law for there being drama surrounding it, but even then, it’s a situation that Powell recklessly created, regardless of the potential repercussions that it would serve for those around her. But even in removing Powell from the situation, the administrator of the page wanted a support page, a way to take some sort of control of what was happening around her and create some understanding and context for her it. At first, it was because they thought Powell was innocent and that the boys were accusing her of disgusting, immoral acts. That means that they believed that what she did was wrong, while also attempting to attack and discredit the students and call them liars (note that reflects their own perspectives on the acts — not what the Christian laws have told them — as well as emotional abuse directed towards the victims). After Powell admitted to what she did, it became a page where the 9th grader was forced to defend her own feelings. This is unfortunate, because one shouldn’t be judged on their feelings, but rather their actions (another thing to consider in this case). After the confession, the page isn’t about the teacher or the laws anymore, it’s about a 9th grader having to defend her own emotional confusion and the right to digest and process this confusion among her peers that are also experiencing it. It’s about her processing distrust and confusing, her own beliefs, and the idea that she was defending something so adamantly, only to find out that it really occurred. All this did was bring in strangers who wanted to crack jokes about it, spew hated in her direction, or dump their own agendas on her page for their own purposes and egos. Objectifying her teacher with comments about how someone would be happy to fuck her, doesn’t help this girl’s cause. Telling her that she shouldn’t care about someone and that Powell should burn, even though the girl may feel betrayed by the situation and foolish, is also pointless, because it’s an issue of emotions, not facts. Likewise, coming on there to tell her that it’s perfectly okay to fuck kids and the only issue is that Christian extremists are pushing this agenda, as you’ve repeatedly done, is not only incredibly backward, it’s dismissive of what she’s dealing with or cares about, just because you want to be heard. Nobody gives a fuck about that, because, it isn’t about you and your concerns have repeatedly demonstrated themselves as being about you and what rights you believe that you have, not those inolved.

      How do you know that Grace doesn’t consider herself Christian? You might be attacking this girl’s belief systems. You might be attacking a girl who’s already being attacked, for something completely different, but under the guise of supporting her. If I had a 9th grade daughter and some dude was trying to approach her on the internet to explain why it’s okay to fuck adults, while spewing a bunch of crazed shit at her about the man and Christianity skewing the issues, I’d come at them. Leave the kid alone. But these aren’t things that you were willing to take into consideration and be reasonable about. I simply made a post suggesting that she assess what she wanted to get out of the page being public and, depending on what she determined that to be, made the suggestion that she might want to privatize it to avoid any further emotional attacks and misinterpretations; in other words, to restructure the page in the way that might best benefit her, because she doesn’t owe the rest of the world anything — especially not the voice to attack and catapult vile commentary at her. She seemed to appreciate that and responded. That was that. Then, out of nowhere, you come in with your one beat-to-death angle ranting about Christians, how it’s all about some push to promote marriage, and all kind of other irrelevant bullshit. You’ve already pissed that onto every other comment so, if anyone gave a shit, they’d already respond to it. If no one is responding, it’s not because they don’t hear you, it’s because they don’t respect you. It had nothing to do with the context of what we were discussing.

      Again, I was talking to someone directly, trying to understand who they were, what they felt, what they were dealing with, how their needs could best be addressed, and you steamrolled in and, most likely, spooked her out, just because you can’t shut the fuck up. You’re ranting about how you have a right to her forum, because the world needs to know whatever bullshit you feel needs to be said. Well… get your own forum. I only stayed on there responding to you long enough to try and redirect the point and attention back to her having the right to heal alone and that she doesn’t owe you the platform, just because you sound like a crazed wingnut.

      Look back into your studies and consider your own obsessions. Like I stated before, it’s a swarming a funeral with picket signs Westboro mentality that leads you to believe that your words on high trump everything else. It an idea that you deserve the listeners, while trampling disrespectfully through the space of others.

      The reasons that I believe you are a lost cause, is because you’ve made no effort to actually communicate or view anything objectively, and somehow you defend that stance by believing that no one else is being objective. You accused me of supporting the Christian extremists. Look around the site a little bit — you’re off base. You’ve accused me of supporting some random law, which you applied inaccurately (once you show a penchant for pulling misinformation repeatedly, your credibility is already dead). I never cited the law as gospel, once — I am not one for law or gospel. Even your empty comment above is all about whether or not I called Meredith a sick deviant, which I don’t believe I’ve done either; I actually tried to think about how she might have been approaching things from an emotional standpoint and to humanize this case more than anyone else has. You’ve been throwing accusations at people from the beginning, when most of the time people aren’t even arguing with you, they’re just asking you to shut the fuck up. As for researching the death penalty, is that not something that you can determine if you support or not without reading a study. Either you’re for killing people or you aren’t.

      The truth is that Meredith Powell’s actions were deviant. She deviated the system and employed secretive tactics to cover up for something that she knew that she wasn’t supposed to be engaged in. This isn’t a scenario where the heart was involved, it’s a scenario where she tried to engage in sexual acts with a number of students and, based on her status as an authority figure, it complicates the situation, because it’s difficult to peg down how much of a role her authority and that dynamic plays into her influence. Someone who actually read her blog, before it was privatized, contacted me to tell me that he felt that I had hit the nail on the head with this article, to which I responded that I don’t know what happened, I’m just trying to speculate on some possibilities and add some new aspects to consider into the conversation. He then replied that Meredith’s parents recently got divorced after 31 years of marriage, she’s really into Justin Beiber (sexualized as a minor), her boyfriend recently broke up with her… she was all kinds of emotionally wounded. If her emotional state manifested itself by her pursuing the minors which she was hired to watch over, then it was misdirected and shows a lack of professionalism and trustworthiness, at best.

      If you want to attack everything because of Christian roots, then make the case that we should be able to rape and murder each other, while you’re at it. I don’t give a fuck where anything comes from outside of me, because my beliefs come from my own experiences and communicating with others about their experiences. They come from real experiences and emotion, they don’t come from a book on propaganda that tells me what my emotions should be, nor do they come from a written law. If your point is that no law should be applied indiscriminately across the board, I never disagreed with that. I never called for Meredith Powell’s head. In fact, all that I said was that, if she can’t not fuck the kids, she probably shouldn’t be teaching. If nothing else, I guarantee that it’s a distraction from their studies, which she’s been employed to direct them in. So, that’s another example of you not even listening to what I’ve said, but indiscriminately accuse, regardless. The truth is that, based on the case that you’ve tried to present, just because you’ve found a connection to the promotion of marriage and Christianity infiltrating the system and defining certain laws, you’ve chosen to apply that concept indiscriminately across the board. It’s not a situation where I’m stating that, because of the laws, every single situation, regardless of the specific facts and details associated with it, is wrong and should have equal repercussions. I don’t believe that the court system works, but that, ideally, it’s supposed to work to address each situation independently. But… my point is that, what you’re doing with your anti-laws is equally parabolic, in much the same way that you employ the same rigid Christian extremist tactics that you pretend to rally against, but only at the opposite end. What you are stating is that, because of the laws and your disbelief in the righteousness of their potential roots and original agenda, every single situation, regardless of specific facts and details associated with it, is right and should have no repercussions. You reject that that there is any possible way that anybody can be negatively affected by any of this, and, to me, at it’s source, is the exact same flawed dismissive logic that you pretend not to believe in, steals the individuality from those involved and ignores their experiences and identities as humans.

  • James

    Regarding the Rind study. The methodology was peer-reviewed … twice … before publication in the APA. Further, the AAAS, while neither endorsing nor condemning the material findings, found no reason to question the original reviewing process. At the time this went down, many research scientists and academicians expressed grave concerns over the religious, political, and/or ideological censorship of valid scientific research. Dallum was front and center in attacking the study. Ostensibly an unbiased expert on CSA, she was in fact closely affiliated with religious conservative organizations. In any case, between her, Dr. Laura, the Family Research Council, and the US Congress, the Rind study was effectively suppressed.

    • Dead_C

      Who gives a shit? Show me the peer reviewed study where anybody believes that you’ve made a relevant point and you’re not a callous asshole.

      • James

        If I was truly callous, I wouldn’t subject myself to the abuse just to help a total stranger who is in legal trouble.

        Chris, I was about your age when my child died. I could not begin to make you understand how deeply this affected me. Decades later, the shock remains. Do you think I loved my son any less than you love yours? There is nothing I can do for him. He is gone forever. And my heart aches.

        What is happening with Meredith is an injustice of immense proportions. What she did was wrong. Absolutely. But not as wrong as society makes it out to be. She deserves punishment. But not the punishment society would impose. Our laws as written do not accurately reflect the actual harm suffered by the victims.

        I can’t help my son Chris. But I can try to help people like Meredith.

        • Dead_C

          While I’m genuinely sorry for your loss, your inclusion of that information here still feels like something injected that isn’t really relevant to the conversation that we’re having.

          A bigger problem is that I never accused Meredith of being an evil monster. In fact, the conclusion of my entire article is about how she, as well as the victims, are actual people and more than just caricatures that can be exploited to reinforce certain talking points. I explain that, if anyone made the effort to look into her life, they would see an otherwise “normal” individual that loves her family and who has students that feel she was the only one who ever gave a shit about them. I reflect on the possible factors relating to her self image and explain that we all have internal issues that we struggle with, but if you can’t get a handle on those issues and allow them to potentially affect others who have been trusted in your care because of that, then you probably shouldn’t be allowed to hold that position anymore and expose anyone else to those potentially damaging actions.

          So, that being said, there are a couple of things that are still confounding me about your approach towards me and this topic in general. One is the idea about how my statements and approach to discussing this topic aren’t reasonable and objective. Direct me to how many other articles have tried to humanize Meredith Powell and understand this with a more open minded approach. And I don’t mean articles that either embrace or reject her in entirety, but honestly try to consider it on an even level. I’ve simply try to present some ideas to the discussion, not chisel something out as definitive, although I’ve read a lot of definitive statements about how there is no way that the boys were negatively affected at all in this scenario, elsewhere.

          When you immediately attack and accuse somebody of something that they don’t identify with, as you have, the natural response should be confusion. You’re directing a lot of your statements to the wrong person and into the wrong conversations. I never said that you didn’t love your son — who I never even knew existed — and I never really unfairly attacked Meredith Powell, either. If anything, I asked people to imagine themselves in a scenario where it might make sense to them and I implored those who represent themselves as the “news” informing America, to make more of an effort not to trivialize her as either “hot teacher” or a one-dimensional monster out of context. It might be of further note that I actually called out one site directly, regarding their poor reporting, in their comment section, which included stating that using a headline that she “raped” 2 children, creates a completely different and more violent connotation than the reality of the the situation warrants and that, being as she has yet to be convicted and pleaded not guilty, it is neglectful, slanderous, and a shitty ploy to get traffic, with little disregard for the individuals that are actually affected by this case.

          Again, not to be insensitive about your son, but you do seem to be projecting certain things that you feel strongly about into some random directions. The idea to try and help Meredith is one thing, but that doesn’t mean that you needed to post all of that stuff all over that page in the manner that you did and in the places that you did. They read as intense assaults on the system in general, not supportive encouraging remarks to anyone. I was actually trying to help out someone that was dealing with their own involvement in this situation on a very real level and you used that as an opportunity to throw out what only reads as anti-Christian propaganda, before stating that you’re coming after me with your words next. There was no reason to address me at all, especially not to accuse me of being a supporter of Christian extremists. Feel free to ask the Christian extremists how they feel about me, by the way… it’s not good.

          From my perspective, your focus on clearing Powell’s name, because of some larger view that you have on the subject — not Meredith as an individual, because you don’t know her — on some level, didn’t allow you to take into account what the real issue might have been for Grace, what her real concerns were, or what the real purpose of her starting that page was. As a 9th grader, she’s, most likely, only keeping that page open, at this point, because the attention it has brought is larger than her and both exciting and confusing. But, at the core, I think she’s still using that as a way to deal with what’s going on, perhaps even using it as a distraction. Either way, the rant about your feelings about the government and regulations, at large, didn’t seem appropriate.

          Likewise, the students are being completely disregarded. Your statement that what Meredith did was wrong above, was the first time that I’ve heard you even entertain that idea on any level. The idea that she deserves punishment, is the first time that you’ve stated that on any level. The concept that there is any emotional trauma, even potentially, for CSA victims was never expressed by you until today, either. Until now, it seemed that there was a complete rejection of any of those possibilities and that’s what I’ve found issue with. Statements being made that there is no way that those kids are negatively affected, is what I find issue with. Your belief that the punishment that society chooses to shell out may not be proportionate to the crime is more than reasonable, but I don’t feel that’s been how you’ve represented your case up until this point. That would have been completely understandable.

          I don’t like the outright dismissal of the kids involved and the whole thing being written off as a non issue. If you reread the article above, and likely anything else that I’ve said up until this point, my issue is with not looking at this for what it is, from either angle. Dismissing the case because she’s a woman, or hot, or anything else, while the same people are calling her a malicious rapist to the public, is telling. The idea that something horrendous occurred simply because it’s in the law books and is connected to what you believe are unrighteous Christian propaganda and motivations, is just as bad as determining that absolutely nothing foul occurred and that no one is negatively affected by it, for the exact same reason. Both are dismissive stances which refuse to look into the actual situation. Let a trial occur. Let the details be examined. Let the teenagers be examined. Too many people are claiming that nothing happened to them. They are being reduced to caricatures as much as she is. Defend her if you feel that it’s necessary, but I don’t see the need to attack the victims and reject any effects that it might have on them. You can support the idea of looking more analytically into the case, without invalidating the children, just as you can support the victims, without burning a stake on the Powell family lawn.

          • Dead_C

            This article might also be of interested to you (not sarcasm). It deals with the word “trauma” how it is defined, and the potential negative effects, whether or not they are “trauma” related

            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/child-myths/201001/child-sexual-abuse-problematic-yes-traumatic-not-necessarily

          • James

            Chris, I am familiar with Susan Clancy, and read that review quite some time ago. It is truly astonishing how engraved (not ingrained) beliefs are. Digging for truth is an arduous process. Still, it has it’s intrinsic rewards. No rush in replying to all your points? Good, because I have a lot to say, and only so much time to devote to it.

            Who first? Let’s start with Mercer. An excerpt from the article.

            “The Trauma Myth” emphasizes repeatedly the clear evidence that childhood experiences of sexual exploitation by adults are associated with a long list of later problems, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, relationship and sexual problems, eating disorders, self-mutilation, and so on. Because one in five children is reported to have experienced sexual abuse (and probably there are more, unreported, cases), such abuse is responsible for significant numbers of mental health problems. It’s important that we learn how to prevent it and to treat its results, not only for the sake of individuals but for the mental health of the whole population. To prevent child sexual abuse and treat problems that result from it, we need to have a real understanding of how these experiences cause bad outcomes. However, much work in this area is based on the assumption that trauma theory, which attributes many mental health problems to the past experience of severe pain and fear, and trauma theory may not provide a good framework for understanding the impact of sexual molestation in childhood.

            The author is undoubtedly very intelligent, and well-intentioned. And (unfortunately) her critical thought processes are clearly impaired, presumedly due to her flawed basic assumptions and personal biases. She has a lot of company.

            I have, as I said, done quite a lot of research on this. It seems in this particular area of psychology, more than any other, psychologists are guilty of (perhaps for some) the most egregious crime in science. That being forgetting a very basic tenet: Cause and effect. I can’t begin to count the number of articles I have read on CSA, written by well-respected experts like Dr. Mercer, generally referencing a particular science paper in a prestigious psychological periodical. After reading the article, which, to be clear, is really nothing more than an opinion, I go to the source paper. That is always more of a struggle to wade through. But when you dig far enough, you will discover something critically significant. The ‘disclaimer’. It reads (more or less) as follows … While the authors of this paper feel there is a strong correlation and/or association between (x) and (y), this remains a highly complex issue. Though every effort has been made to control for other factors (family environment, economic status, genetics, etc) the authors can not state there is a direct cause and effect.

            To date Chris, this has not changed. The littany of disorders and other negative outcomes attributed to CSA have never been proved.

            Psychologists have yet to show a direct cause and effect. Yet the ‘experts’ continually ignore this, writing articles like the one above in Psychology Today, treating this as if it were a given. It isn’t.

            Clancy took a lot of heat by butting heads with the establishment, contradicting the message it had been feeding us. A message still on virtually every anti-csa site out there, characterized by dire warnings such as this: “The pain and terror of child sexual abuse is still going on. Nearly every 90 seconds another child lies in her bed, silently screaming, as she hears her bedroom door slowly open …” Clearly, the message is designed to promote panic and hysteria … outrage … a need for revenge … justice. And it is a lie. Unfortunately, a lie society has embraced, and perpetuated for decades.
            Excerpt …

            Clancy is not the first to point out that children’s sexual experiences with adults are not necessarily experienced as traumatic (severely painful or terrifying) at the time when they occur. But her interview research with adults who had been molested as children clearly showed a continuum of child experiences, ranging from terror and pain at one end, through puzzlement without distress in the middle, to physical and emotional gratification at the opposite end. In fact, most of her interviewees reported that in childhood, at the time of the event, they were not frightened or in pain. The abuser’s actions did not involve force or even penetration of any kind, but were generally limited to rubbing, kissing,or fondling of genitals, nor did most of the abusers threaten the children in any way. Nevertheless, those adults, as well as the ones who had experienced trauma, reported symptoms related to their experiences, and now felt that the sexual event had had a deplorable effect on them.
            And the facts do support Clancy on most of this. But even she has serious bias issues. Problems with critical thinking skills, and a lack of research. For one, she was unaware (apparently) of the frequency of actual intercourse that was occuring. Far more prevalent than she believed. Further, she clearly failed to factor in the plethora of alterante reasons why an adult would come to believe the ‘deplorable effect’ was due to the CSA. In fact, the evidence of society itself being the cause of deleterious effects later in life is profound and compelling. In other words, society has convinced the adult they should feel bad.
            Please go to Pandora’s Project. This is a sex abuse ‘survivor’ site. You may find it interesting.

          • Dead_C

            Honestly, I’m not interested in devoting endless amounts of time reading about fucking children and I agree that people should feel badly about doing it. It begs the question why, if you do not have a degree in it or deal with it in your profession (perhaps you do, I don’t know your profession) then why would someone devote so much time and energy in an attempt to advocate for child molestation and rape. You attempt to denounce CSA sites for mentioning that children are sexually abused — it is after all child sexual “abuse” — and to suggest that children are negatively affected by it, but many children are aggressively abused. Is it your take that children are never maliciously abused? Because, if not, I don’t understand your point.

            I like how you refer to them as “experts” with quotation marks, meanwhile consider yourself an expert, based on reading research that they’ve done first hand. You consider reading about their first hand research, as your own research, yet discount their findings. Of course it states that even the source material is an opinion, to some degree, because humans are complex, which is exactly why crossing certain boundaries with them, especially in critical developmental states in their lives, is more cut and dry than simply stating that there are neither any immediate or long term effects. You’ve made such blanket rejections as possibility time and time again, as if, simply because of a technicality that states that certain findings cannot be definitively stamped as “fact”, regardless of the fact that they have been thoroughly researched and the findings all point to a specific direction. Everything is opinion, there are no facts, because the basis of proof is that proof exists and you can’t prove proof, without using it. It’s semantics. These “predators” are flipping a coin with the emotional development and health of another individual due to their own physical compulsions. I don’t endorse that and I definitely don’t go to great lengths to validate it, as you seem to be doing.

            I physically injured myself at a job and still have problems with my wrist because of it. The problem wasn’t there before hand, but has been ever since. I also incurred another injury, which even yielded an apology from the company whose product was responsible for causing it. It would have been an easy lawsuit. In both situations, the doctors refused to make a solid claim about my injuries. One affected my ability to sue, if I chose to do so, and the other affected my L&I. I continued to work with my hand in a brace, lifting luggage. On both occasions, my injuries were diagnosed and validated, yet the causes weren’t. Often, those who have such degrees act like Matlock and want to crack the code themselves, they do not like anyone to self diagnose. Slamming your hand in a door and having blood squirt everywhere is less interesting a diagnosis than, “We believe that your hand was slammed and that blood shot out, but we believe that it’s possible that both incidents happened coincidentally and that you have a super rare case where your blood just squirted out on it’s own. It’s incredibly rare, but there is a prior incident in this medical book.”

            A lot of people claim that PTSD is fake too, but I’ve experienced it. The mind is complex and anything that’s been “proven” can have holes shot through it. Simply the fact that just about everything that our 5 primary senses tells us, science disproves — what you see is really upside down, the colors we see are actually negative reflections of what we perceive, nothing is solid but rather a magnetic field over separate molecules — yet we define everything based on the 5 senses — categorically, it feels like this, looks like this, etc. But this is the world that we experience and the rest is semantics. Just because the mind is complex and emotions are hard to wrangle, it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. It doesn’t mean that the soul doesn’t exist or that he can’t track abstract emotional pain, just because we can track physical pain receptors. You may hate on religion, but the archetype for Judaeo-Christian religions was faith — although that’s since been tainted. The point, however, is that everything is faith. You exist because of faith. Your perceptions are your truths. It’s all semantics and, if the system is your demon, it is still the system in which we exist and it doesn’t invalidate the results. If you live in an environment filled with death, you might not bat an eye to watch someone have their throat slit in front of you. Does that mean that, if you say it happen today on the street that it wouldn’t haunt you? Does it mean that it wouldn’t haunt someone else or affect them differently, just because it didn’t directly affect you in the same manner? We are all products of the system and the system is a product of us.

            To take a page from your book, If organized religion holds so much power, conspires against us and rigs the system, whose to say that such organized religion, which has been repeatedly charged with corruption and sexual abuse toward minors, doesn’t play a role in discrediting the scientific findings or weaken them for their own purposes?

            This was supposed to be a one off article about a quick story. This site is supposed to be about explosions, noise, and wacky art projects. Instead of writing responses in this comment section, I could be writing entirely different articles. I tire of this subject, because it’s a disturbing one and I don’t care to obsess over the sexual exploitation of children. It’s not a pleasant image — for me at least. I have no horse in this race, as I am not fornicating with children and am not a minor, nor am I in a position where I need to counsel a victim of this sort of abuse at this time. Furthermore, I’m an unsure of what your particular horse is.

            My interaction with you came as has already been addressed. I wrote a message to someone else and you tried to go at me. Now you’ve found a platform to dump all of the supposed studies you’ve been doing privately in your own life and present your case endorsing sexual interactions with minors. Bravo, but it is a vile mission. One minute you say that there are no repercussions and the next you say that there might be. One minute you say that what Powell did was “wrong” and that she should be punished, and the next you say that adults shouldn’t feel bad about partaking in CSA. Your own opinions haven’t been consistent. I’m moving on, at this point.

            In the past, regardless of how hateful or crazy comments may have gotten, I never censored any of them, unless they were homophobic or racist. Racists and homophobes have their own studies and belief systems in place. Even Hitler had his findings about the inferiority of Jews. But, I’m over this topic and I’m not sure that I will approve any more of your statements, because of a similar reason that I don’t allow certain hate speech on here. I don’t really want to allow for any more statements endorsing sexual interaction with children on my website. You’ve had quite an opportunity to state your case quite a bit and I allowed for the conversation, even though you initially acted like a completely belligerent and condescending asshole right from the beginning — an have continued to venture back into that territory at points.. That was generous of me. Good luck to you, but not in respect to decriminalizing pedophilia.

        • Deep Thought

          Wait, what???? HOW does Meredith’s crime and her punishments represent “an injustice of immense proportions”?? That’s absurd, unless you subscribe to the 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not punish the beautiful”. And for the last time, – this has nothing to do with true “harm” suffered by adolescent boys. This story is about someone placed in a position of authority recognized by our government, who then went on to abuse that authority by breaking the rules very clearly laid-out for her prior to her being hired in that position of authority. The very fact that Meredith Powell was a teacher is alone grounds for boosting the penalties considerably beyond what could be the norm for some random next-door neighbor violating the 15yo next door. You can deduce as much for yourself based on the fact that any 16/17yo next door is perfectly legal to give “consent” to a 24yo (who is not in a supervisory position) in Meredith’s state and in most others.

          So what Meredith did IS clearly wrong, and it is very likely AS wrong as society makes it out to be. She shouldn’t get a break just because she’s “attractive”. Having already confessed to so much of her wrong-doing, Meredith surely has limited potential for causing any favorable effect on her sentencing. But if she were wise, she would ask her lawyers to strongly consider the effects of social media on her apparent lack of personal boundaries. It could be revolutionary while proving quite the wake-up call to others all over this world. femaleteachersexscandals.blogspot.com

          • Dead_C

            Cool. You waste your breath on this guy for a while. In all honesty, the stuff he’s saying here is a million times more reasonable than the stuff that’s since been removed from the Free Powell page

  • James

    You make am awful lot of assumptions Chris. I have not read your book in its entirety yet, but I will.

    “Christian agenda, in the far distant past, regarding some worthless law”.

    Chris, is 1988 the far distant past? I think you will find the RCW regarding child rape was rewritten then.

    If you don’t mind, please keep the conversation on a respectful level, and I will do the same.

    Yes, I am very much aware of the emotional trauma that is associated with CSA. It’s cause is open for debate.

    Have to go now.

    • Dead_C

      It’s a little late for that. I have no respect for you and you chose to initiate this poisonous aimless debate over on that Facebook Page, by stating that you had some words for me, after I simply left that respectful comment for Grace. I only suggested that you bring your tirade over here, with the hopes that you would finally restrain yourself from going off on that 9th grade girl’s Facebook page, since it was clear that all you really desired was a platform.

      I see that you’re readjusting your approach for my site. My latest “assumption” is that you welcome the opportunity to attempt to discredit me on my own forum, by readjusting to present yourself publicly in a particular manner — an emotionally restrained, level headed intellectual, referencing studies, this time around. I’m less concerned with public opinion and your backhanded “apology” for your “harshest remarks,” is ridiculous. It’s a demolition derby over here. I’ll speak my mind in the fashion that I do, even more so, now that I’m not invading a teenage girl support page to do it. That’s where we differ. And that’s also what OUR discussion has been about this whole time anyway; why you couldn’t get the fuck off that girls page and quit throwing crazy conspiracies at her and inappropriate subject matter. Now you want to present yourself as someone interested in an actual conversation? Not interested.

  • James

    And my compassion is not limited to Meredith. I want to help those who love her, and are now confused, and struggling with their thoughts and emotions. How could this wonderful person be the sick evil monster society is making her out to be?

    She isn’t. She is a normal human being. Her sexual attraction for her students was normal. As was theirs for her.

    Those who love her have the right to be told the truth. The right to know she is not some pervert.

    • Dead_C

      I only just addressed this in my previous comment, which was posted after you posted this, but like I said, to be emotionally supportive to someone in any way, you have to consider what they need, rather than what you feel you need to say or do.

      Also, while I agree that there should be more insight into the case, unless you know Meredith Powell and the specifics in this case, which nobody still seems to really know — nobody even knew that she was doing the things that she was doing — it’s actually quite possible that she was some deviant pervert. As an outsider disconnected to the actual case and the actual people, you are projecting your own emotions into this and she definitely shouldn’t be championed as some folk hero. As much as people are being presumptuous and cavalier with tossing false information around, I don’t believe that people should be raising her up overhead, when they really have no idea what happened or who she is at this point. You can not know her, condemn, and hate her, or you can not know her, champion her and love her, but either way seems misguided and foolish to me.

  • Dead_C

    James, I see that you’ve commented again and that, when you finally started to sound less like an asshole, you’re back to it. Why don’t I think that it’s appropriate for a strange man to try and engage a 9th grade girl into a conversation about how sex with minors is natural, while telling her that Christianity (which her parents might have instilled in her) is reprehensible, and the only reason for it’s public rejection, before stating that you have some words for me, next — especially when none of it has anything to do with the discussion that we were having? I think it’s obvious.

    I’m not sure who you’re accusing of deception in an attempt to perpetuate an “agenda,” because like I’ve clearly stated and represented up until this point, I’ve had no agenda, other then open conversation and pointing out how people are commandeering Grace’s support page as their own platform, directly to her. Meanwhile, you’ve stated your agenda repeatedly.

    I’m trying to be considerate toward you at this point, even though you haven’t really demonstrated that you deserve it. Meanwhile, you’re throwing ridiculous accusations my way again. First of all, I never accused Meredith Powell of undeniably being “A sick monster who destroyed those little kids and deserves to rot in prison?”

    As for your comment, “I’m human too, and I reacted to what I considered deeply offensive comments directed at both Meredith and her supporters.” I’d implore you to be realistic for one moment, rather than ignorantly reactionary. The initial post that we’ve been referring to this whole time, in which you launched into your tirade against me, is posted verbatim, below. This is what you consider deeply offensive and an attack on Meredith and her supporters? This is what you consider an inhumane depiction of this “innocent” educator, regardless of the fact that the last paragraph begins with “what people forget is that Meredith is a human being”?

    The 9th grader, Grace, who started the page did the radio interview where she stated that she believed that her teacher should serve some time and that she started the page before Powell admitted to the charges. She agreed that it might be sending the wrong message with the title and that she just wanted a support page. She was posting things over and over about being assaulted with negativity and offensive responses. That’s what I was addressing.

    As you know, she responded by saying “I
    tried to change the name because it does get tiring having new people
    constantly say “Why do you want to free a child rapist” or something
    along those lines. I tried to change the name but I no longer can
    because I have 200+ followers which is pretty stupid.”

    After that was the point at which you went off with everything you had to say, which was completely insane and irrelevant to the topic.

    Read it again, and consider who you were attacking and what you were attacking them for. You’re not even paying any fucking attention, you’re just screaming at the wall.

    What I posted to the Free Powell wall, which prompted you to attack me and inform me that you had a right to this forum and the people had a right to know the truth:

    “This page turned into a circus as soon as it popped up, because it’s
    such a polarizing issue. I listened to your interview on KIRO and I
    think that you did a really good job considering the circumstances.
    Still, I feel that the point about having a “Free Powell” page still
    remains, as you yourself stated that you didn’t believe that she should,
    in fact, be freed, but that she should serve a sentence for what she
    did. The implications of this page and its title, however, are that she
    should be released without any repercussions for what happened and
    that, by nature, there was absolutely nothing wrong with what happened.
    Your posts stating that the victims were never traumatized, reinforces
    that sentiment.

    Since the only things that this page is
    yielding, other than notoriety and attention for yourself, as the one
    who started it, are statements by strangers blindly agreeing that
    nothing inappropriate was done and that the kids aren’t victims; people
    saying the exact opposite and attacking you for making it; or people
    making inappropriate, disgusting, and derogatory sexual comments about
    your teacher; have you considered privatizing the page? I understand
    the idea that you may want to start a page where those who know her can
    show support for her and each other, during this time, and a private
    page would allow that, without all of the craziness and arguing between
    people. Otherwise, it really is a public forum for chaos, that seems to
    endorse her behavior, which draws in both creepy trolling pedophiles
    and people that will look to attack what they believe you are trying to
    publicly endorse and champion toward the public, so that nobody really
    wins. In that regard, it ceases to remain as simply a support page. A
    private support page would seem more authentic and wouldn’t bring in
    people looking to attack you, or creepy perverts leaving vile
    commentary. People love a soap box and this should be about more than
    getting some fame or attention from this, both from yourself or for
    anybody else that comments on here.

    What people forget is that
    Meredith is a human being, that the boys are human beings, or even that
    you are a human being who started this page. People are either
    attacking Powell, or they are attacking the boys, they aren’t being
    objective about what happened. Us strangers are distanced from the
    situation and are speaking on this as a hypothetical making morality
    judgments, not as an actuality. As a public forum, it becomes
    voyeuristic and people swarm like flies to things like this in the
    electronic age with these type or open formats. As long as it remains
    in this format, nothing healthy will come of this page, other than
    bickering and perversion. It’s something to consider, if you really
    want a space for support and healing, because this will never become
    that in its current state. However, if you want to remain in a place
    where you will draw attention and public recognition, regardless of
    positivity or negativity, because of the excitement involved, this is
    definitely the way to go.”

  • Dead_C

    “this court document”? Was there supposed to be a link included somewhere? I posted this piece 2 months ago and, as it states within it, to my awareness, there were no documents available for me to view at the point. In fact, I began writing it the night of the court case. Also, this isn’t supposed to be a piece “reporting” the news, it’s actually a commentary about how people shouldn’t rely on those less credible sources so much, and about the level of importance that is, or is not, placed on situations such as this. My question to you is why you’re reading this at all, if you could simply read the court documents.