A handful of times in the last few years, the members of the Oregon commission charged with determining who will get a license to teach in the state's public schools have found themselves faced with an application from a former prostitute.
Who could be against the desire to see a sinner turn their life around? After all:
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Margaret Carter, D-Portland, would have allowed a school district to employ a woman convicted of prostitution if at least seven years had passed since the conviction, and if she has not been convicted of any other crime in the interim.
This sounds, at first glance, to be a good thing - after all, the WOMEN were probably victims, weren't they?
Or were the intended beneficiaries of the bill WOMEN?
Oregon is one of those "gay-friendly" states. So, any bill that is sponsored that seems to benefit women must be scrutinized carefully to determine whether the hidden effect of the bill is to benefit gay men.
Women have the benefit of the doubt when it comes to crime. It's assumed that female prostitutes are totally victims. That's the "broken blossom" theory. On those grounds, why not allow the reformed victim to teach after she has rehabilitated herself?
I have just 3 words - Mary
I, like most people, would have said that the very idea of a grown woman sexually abusing a child was ludricrous. It was unthinkable.
Still, despite the recent rash of similar crimes in the last few years, women sexually abusing young boys remains relatively rare.
So, why not let the former felons teach?
Because it would mean that Oregon couldn't keep men who were convicted of sex crimes out of the classroom. And, unfortunately, men constitute a great number of sexual felons, many of whom are totally unsuitable to be teaching. Male prostitutes have a very limited shelf life - they are unlikely to be working "boys" much beyond late teens or early 20s. So, by the time they would be entering the classroom, they could very well qualify for the relaxed rules.
Many gay men have been either denied a teacher license, or had theirs removed, because of a sexually-related crime. Be sure, this bill is a way to get them back into the classroom.
There's a lot of jobs for which convicts could qualify - but teaching young people isn't one that should be on the list.