Experts, Officials Talk About Student-Teacher Sex Trend

Experts, Officials Talk About Student-Teacher Sex Trend

Anum Valliani
NewsWest 9

WEST TEXAS- The mind of a sex predator- experts say it's not much different from that of a drug or food addict. But when they're feeding their appetite, they could damage a kid for life. 

"They lack trust, they lack empathy, they have anger issues," Tommy Pool, a therapist in Odessa who specializes in sex addiction, said.

He said that's what comes after the excitement, fantasy, rush and sex with a teacher. But for the adults, it could be worse. He said a teacher could become increasingly excited over contact with a minor and gradually become an addict without even realizing it's happening.

"Neurotransmitters begin to flood the body. Dopamine and pleasurable chemicals and over time it just increases and people do things they thought they'd never do," he said.

Since 2013, NewsWest 9 has reported on more than a handful of student-teacher relationships across the Basin. The Fort Stockton drama teacher, 40-year-old Christopher Perkins who had sex with multiple students over the course of years, eventually impregnating one. 52-year-old David Proctor, a teacher at Jal High School who came clean after being accused of having sex with a student. D'Laine Young, the Greenwood teacher found sleeping with a student for two years. And most recently, a young ECISD sub, John Hughes, accused of sexting girls across the country.

Those are just some of them and you'd never know it.

"That's the scary part. A lot of times you can't tell by looking at someone, what they're about inside and what they're thinking," Pool said.

According to ECISD Master Sergeant, Leslie Alexander, there are always going to be predators, but they're doing their best to catch them through criminal history and background checks, fingerprinting and pushing forward on a full-blown investigations upon first reports of suspect behavior found in a teacher.

"Occasionally people are going to slip through or somebody is going to change directions once they've already become employed. Very few people get caught the first time they commit a crime. That's just the nature of the beast," she described.

But that's where technology steps in to help. She said that a lot of times there's an electronic footprint in some way or another, whether it's Facebook messages, texts, emails or something else.

Pool believes it's natural for people to be attracted to those who are close in age and so administrators should keep an eye on their younger teachers.  

"If you look at the ones that we in ECISD have filed charges on, you'll notice that there really is no a recurring theme of it being younger teachers," Alexander said.

Meanwhile, others believe times have changed; that "fast" children are guilty too.

"While the child may have that tendency to be manipulative or to control the situation, and they certainly have the same excitement about that, their role as being responsible is just not the same," Pool said. "They don't have the experience or the judgment or the insight to understand that somebody that's in an authority position may be preying on them."

"We cannot penalize our children. They are our innocence. They're who we're here to protect," Alexander said.

Officials said to their knowledge there haven't been any more cases of these illegal relationships than there have been in the past, but they believe more kids are speaking up about them.