In Rose City, Michigan, a middle school teacher named Neal Erickson molested one of his male students. When caught, Erickson, upstanding citizen that he is, pleaded guilty to child rape to spare the young man further pain, and was sentenced to 15-30 years in prison. The reaction of Mr. Erickson’s wife and fellow colleagues to his sentence exposes some of the insanity residing inside the American public school system.
Lest we forget, members of teachers’ unions overwhelmingly supported the initial election and subsequent reelection of a president whose actions against a nation that stupidly trusted him as parents trust teachers with their children are largely scandalous.
That’s why a small sample of West Branch Rose City teachers’ letters of leniency on behalf of Mr. Erickson elucidates more than an outrageous defense of a child molester. The letters reveal a mindset, a worldview, and a relativistic standpoint that not only endangers schoolchildren, but is also detrimental to America as a whole.
High school teacher Toni Erickson is the wife of child rapist Neal Erickson. Clearly, Mrs. Erickson has exhibited loyalty toward her husband and is willing to overlook that he molested an eighth grade boy for three years, and that is very touching. But what’s scary is that from Toni’s lopsided perspective, the child is less a victim than the rapist.
In her letter to the judge on Neal’s behalf, Mrs. Erickson said this:
As for punishment, because I know that is something the community expects, hasn’t he been punished enough? He is losing a job he has held for 17 years [during three of which he was raping a child] and losing all future career potential as a teacher.
It’s clear that Toni seems more upset about the damage to her husband’s future than the physical and psychological damage he imposed on a child. Mrs. Erickson also blames the community for demanding what she apparently feels is a disproportionate level of punishment, and deems herself qualified to determine how much penance for a child rapist is penance enough.
Toni’s moral position that statutory rape is not harmful to children was further exposed when she said,
I have seen many delightful students who have been damaged by horrible events in their lives. While I acknowledge that Neal’s conduct with [a victim he found ‘delightful’] was wrong, I do not believe [the 14-year-old] was damaged by Neal’s action[s].
Furthermore, she said,
“I base my opinion on my personal interaction with [the boy], both before and after Neal’s actions. However [my daughter] very likely could be [damaged]. Please don’t punish her by [her father’s] absence in her life.”
So according to a woman who has overseen a high school classroom for 15 years, jailing a dangerous predator is cruel, because when he’s not molesting boys, Neal is needed to father their daughter?
And it doesn’t stop there. Neal Erickson also has a cheering section.
English teacher Sally Campbell lauded Erickson’s kindness toward his victim by his decision to plead guilty.
Fourth grade teacher Marilyn Glover described a ‘sexual predator’ as rapist who rapes a child more than once, and Kathleen Scheel defined sexual molestation of a child as an “inappropriate relationship.”
Scheel explained, “I am aware that [Mr. Erickson] made some extremely poor decisions in carrying on an inappropriate relationship with a past student of his.”
In her leniency letter, Kathleen wrote that Neal losing his teaching certificate, coupled with the parole that will prevent him from molesting other children is “steep enough of punishments that a long incarceration term is not warranted on top of that.”
And here’s the ultimate kicker: Kathleen Scheel argued that Erickson had access to 1,000 children but raped only one, proving that “Our community’s children are not at risk of Neal’s presence — he is not a predator.”
Ms. Scheel explained that in this case, the child rape was simply Neal having “found a strong emotional tie to one particular individual who was too young to be experiencing that type of relationship.” Now if that sort of horrifying dismissal of a crime against a child doesn’t drive Americans to seriously contemplate home-schooling, nothing will.
Social studies teacher Amy Huber Eagan, wife of school board member Mike Eagan, said that Neal “has been, and will be, greatly missed in the educational arena,” which Huber Eagan feels “in and of itself has been a huge punishment to Neal.”
Huber Eagan beseeched the judge, “considering all the circumstances surrounding the case… Neal [should] be given the absolute minimum sentence.”
Typically, the left operates from an amoral point of view. Then, after their wrongdoings are found out, they argue that the damage they’ve inflicted either isn’t their fault, blown out of proportion, or quantifiable on some sort of sliding scale. Ergo, liberals, from Barack Obama on down to those who defend child rapists, are able to defer personal culpability by consistently portraying the guilty victimizer as an innocent victim.
Jeannie hosts a blog at www.jeannie-ology.com