The Long Term Effects of a Student-Teacher Relationship - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

The Long Term Effects of a Student-Teacher Relationship

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

It's a disturbing trend that makes headlines all over the country: Teachers having inappropriate relationships with students and it's something we've seen right here in the Basin.

But even after arrests are made, the victims can have long term effects.

So far this year, there have been three arrests of teachers in the West Texas area for having inappropriate relationships with students.

In all three cases, the teachers facing charges are women, accused of getting involved with high school students, ranging from 17 years old to 19 years old.

The age of the victims alone has sparked debate.

"A lot of our youth may be 18, they could be 17 and considered legally consenting but I don't think it's noticed that the positions here are really what we should be looking at," Tara Holt, Programs Director with the Crisis Center in Odessa, said. "When you start to look at the aspects of it being a student-teacher relationship, there's a power issue that comes into play."

Holt said these kinds of situations can have lasting effects.

"Long-term guilt, did they ace a test because of this?" she said. "What happens to their reputation, they become known as the student who slept with the teacher. It's not always just a bruise that's gonna go away. It's an emotional scar that's long term."

Holt said it's a growing problem that can affect the victim's future choices and self-esteem.

"Are these students wanting to be teachers later on in life? Well now maybe they're choosing not to be maybe because of what they experienced," she said. "Are they gonna be that way?"

She said hormones can blur the lines but in an age of social media and technology, clearer boundaries need to be set.

"You can't always help who you may be physically attracted to but there is that aspect that we should always maintain of is this gonna be right?" Holt said.

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