Teenage buddy sleeps with 30-year-old teacher. Should I report her?

By Emily Yoffe, Slate
Posted Aug. 25, 2012, at 3:56 p.m.

Dear Prudie,

A friend and I just graduated from high school and we have become close since we started working together. Last year I noticed he seemed to have a girlfriend in his life but he wouldn’t mention any details about her. Then last month he told me the truth.

He had a sexual and emotional relationship with a 30-year-old female teacher and on several occasions she got him drunk. To prove it, he showed me Facebook messages and texts between them. He broke up with her, and now she won’t leave him alone and she says she loves him. My friend has a promising future, and when he told me, he swore me to secrecy.

I feel bad for my friend who was taken advantage of by an authority figure. My friend’s dad ran out on him, his two sisters got pregnant as teens, and his mother has had cancer. Obviously he shouldn’t have ever told me, but what obligation do I have not only him but to future students?

—Freaked Out

Dear Freaked,

You are very perceptive to see that this teacher is a predator and she chose as her prey a vulnerable, fatherless boy. You are also right that such people tend to be serial abusers and other susceptible boys will likely follow.

I know you were sworn to secrecy, but then you were told about multiple crimes. I’m afraid your obligation to your friend and to future students negates your vow of silence. But this is not a burden you should have to carry alone. It’s the responsibility of the adults around you to take action so that Ms. Hotpants is not writing her name on the chalkboard when the new school year begins.

So tell your parents and ask them to help you report this to the authorities. You can start with the school principal, but if you don’t get an immediate response, call the police. Do give your friend a heads up about what you are doing. Tell him this teacher is sick and needs to be reported, that what happened isn’t his fault and he needs help dealing with this.

Yes, all this will be painful for a boy who has already suffered too much. But he will ultimately be better off for not having to fend off this sicko and bear this secret.

Dear Prudence,

My husband and his first wife named their son Adam. Their Adam is 25 and lives across the country from us. Now we are having a son, and Adam is my late father’s name and grandfather’s name. I always wanted to name my son after my dad. My husband says I can’t do that because of his firstborn son, and he can’t have two sons named Adam. But mostly, because it would upset his ex-wife. I don’t think I should have to forgo naming my son after my dad because of this. We rarely see his older son, so I don’t see what the problem is. My husband got to pick the name for our daughter and it meant a lot to him. This means a lot to me. His son said it would be all right with him, but his ex is livid at the idea.

— Attached to Adam

Dear Attached,

Only three more sons to go — all named Adam — and your husband could tie George Foreman’s record for having sons who all share the same name. I hear from a lot of people who think other family members have “stolen” a name they wanted for their child. But while it doesn’t matter if cousins have the same name, it is bizarre to give more than one of your own children the same name.

Your husband already has a son named Adam. The older Adam may feel so disconnected (or is so laid back) that he says he doesn’t care that he could have a younger brother also named Adam. But your husband says he doesn’t want to give both his sons the same name. I agree the wishes of the ex-wife are completely irrelevant, but maybe your husband is trying to make her the heavy.

You can honor your own family name by making Adam your son’s middle name. You could even flip your father’s first and middle names for your own son. I know Adam was the first man, but there have been many since then and you need to choose another name, because in your family, Adam is taken.

— Prudie

Please send your questions for publication to prudence@slate.com. Questions may be edited.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/25/living/teenage-buddy-sleeps-with-30-year-old-teacher-should-i-report-her/ printed on October 25, 2014