Former Joplin middle school teacher Amanda Schweitzer has become part of a disturbing and yet difficult to explain trend: female teachers accused of initiating sex with their male students, in Schweitzer’s case with three middle school students.
The 37-year-old Schweitzer was not the only female Missouri teacher so accused in 2017. In June of that year, Loryn Barclay, 24, a paraprofessional in the Monett School District not far from Joplin, was arrested for having multiple sexual encounters with an underage student in her car and in his home.
In April 2017, Schweitzer was arrested on charges of child kidnapping, first-degree statutory rape and first-degree statutory sodomy. Now she and the Joplin School District are being sued by the parents of two of the victims. As in virtually all cases involving sexual abuse within public schools, the media make little effort to investigate the case as anything but an isolated incident.
Although the lawsuit against the Joplin School District cites the Missouri Human Rights Act, alleging the district “failed to take steps to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment by its faculty,” the principal and superintendent are not mentioned by name in media accounts. Catholic school authorities enjoy no such media protection.
In the suit against the school district, Schweitzer is accused of “grooming” the three boys, all under 15, in early 2017. This included sending sexually suggestive messages through social media, running her fingers through a student’s hair, and nibbling on a student’s ear. The lawsuits allege several other incidents of sexual misconduct by Schweitzer with the three boys, including “unwanted sexual touching” in the middle school classroom.
The Amanda Schweitzer one meets on Facebook seems benign enough, but she shows no obvious interest in education. She seems consumed instead by her apparent sideline in eyelash care.
According to the Center for Sex Offender Management, about one-third of the 800 or so of the teachers prosecuted in 2014 for having sex with students were females. “Its roots are based on the ‘power’ that the female teacher has, a position of dominance and control,” explained Dr. Domenick Sportelli.
Whatever its basis, women have enjoyed a double standard in the courts when it comes to prosecution for sexually abusing minors. Although men implicitly understand the reason for the double standard, it is becoming increasing hard to justify in a world in which “equality” is king.