When it comes to inappropriate student-teacher relationships, the general consensus holds that the teacher has victimized the student, even if the student initiated contact. So when a video surfaced of 26-year-old high school teacher Julie Warning kissing her 18-year-old student Eric Arty late last month, the incident’s press coverage followed the standard framework. Warning was a lecherous woman who coerced her student into a scandalous affair.
Clearly, Warning is in the wrong for not rebuffing her student’s advances. But the issue becomes complicated when considering the culpability of her student Eric Arty. Now, before I’m accused for blaming the victim, consider two important facts. Eric Arty is legally an adult, and he seduced his teacher to win a bet.
Read more: When Teachers Are Seduced by Predatory Students
I remember getting a bad grade in 8th grade French and thinking “maybe I’ll just seduce the teacher” because “who wouldn’t want this?” (points at then-14-year-old dink) and now I realize that kind of mentality is the same as many, many grown adults.