Kelsey Peterson, a 6th grade math teacher, pleaded guilty in federal court this week to a slew of charges, not the least of which was seducing her twelve year old student (she was 25 at the time). When she got caught, she kidnapped the kid (or as the media puts it, ran away with him) and fled to Mexico, where she was later apprehended.
Her attorney’s defense in court? “I resent the term ‘child.’ You’re baby-fying this kid. This kid is a Latino machismo teenager.”
(Aside from the fact that that’s really poor grammar…) Yeah, way to be a racist, victim-blaming piece of shit, trying to play up racist Don Juan stereotypes. Thing is, I’m pretty sure Don Juan was a fully grown adult. This twelve year old was just a kid. It doesn’t matter if he acts/looks older than his age. She was his teacher, and he was her 12 year old student. She is a rapist. Period.
But the lawyer wasn’t the only one saying racist things. During her report, one of the Good Morning America anchors said:
But of course [the victim*] was only twelve. He was an illegal immigrant, and Peterson now faces what will likely be 6-7 years in federal prison.
What the hell does citizenship status have to do with anything? If you’re a Latino and you’re undocumented, you can be damn sure the media will slip in a comment on your citizeship status, whether it relates to the story at hand or not.
Other double standards are at play here as well. Why are these white teacher-brown student cases of pedophilia always the ones to get national attention (remember Mary Kay Letourneau)? Are white-white cases of teacher-student pedophilia just not juicy enough since white boys don’t have the game than brown boys men do (*eyeroll*)? I have the feeling white-white cases of pedophilia would stir up proper public outrage at the teacher in question rather than earn her a People magazine feature or two.
*I realize that his name is public and that he was featured on Good Morning America (which I find questionable on their part considering the fact that he’s still only 14 years old), but I prefer not to publicly mention sex abuse victims’ names for the world to see. That’s just icky.