by Arthur Weinreb
A couple of weeks ago, Amy Gehring, a 26-year-old Canadian supply teacher in Britain was acquitted of three sex related charges involving students under her care. A fourth charge was dismissed as the male student was overage and a fifth incident, while not the subject of criminal proceedings, was admitted to by Gehring in the British tabloid press.
That the charges were not proved beyond a reasonable doubt in the alcohol-fuelled environment that became Miss Gehring's life in England was not surprising. That this small town, purportedly socially backward young lady grabbed a literary agent and sold her story to the tabloid press for big bucks is hardly amazing in our Jerry Springerish world. What is truly astonishing though is the way the media portrayed Gehring as the victim.
And it wasn't just The Victim's Daily (aka The Toronto Star, which portrays everyone with the exception of Stockwell Day and Mike Harris as victims) but the media as a whole that gushed pity upon the tragic downfall of Ms. Gehring. Take for example the article in the conservative albeit drifting leftward National Post by Chris Wattie. The article entitled "Teacher confesses to U.K. Paper" was published on Canada's Day of Infamy - 2/11, the day Sal» and Pelletier were awarded silver medals at the Olympics. Relying on extensive quotations from Ghering, Wattie ensures that that she is portrayed as the true victim.
The Post article, as did other media sources, stressed the fact that Gehring was from the small Ontario town of Otterville, somewhere near someplace that's somewhere near London. The inference to be drawn from this is that she couldn't possibly be sophisticated enough to know that entering into personal relationships with students was wrong.
She was lonely because she was in England and away from her family. Canada is a country with many new immigrants who are lonely and away from their families. That fact never seems to pop up as an excuse for sexual impropriety. She was like a "helpless puppy". Her colourful excuses have been plastered all over the media. "He was loving, sweet and caring". As if that had anything to do with it. "I don't go around intending to pick kids up off the street". That's a typical reaction of someone who has done something wrong; they pick something worse and then brag about the fact that not only have they never done it, but never intended to do it. It's like Art Eggelton saying at his committee hearings, "Okay, so I lied about knowing when Canadian soldiers took prisoners in Afghanistan, but, hey, I never ordered anyone nuked".
Another media trick is the use of certain words to describe both what she was alleged to have done and what she had admitted doing. Except for setting out the formal charges, words like sexual assault were never used. She "seduced" the boys. Sounds much nicer.
All of this would be fine if the media applied the same standard to male teachers who become involved with female students of the same age that Ghering's students were. Can you imagine the media using the word "seduced" instead of assaulted if a male teacher were alleged to have slept with a 15-year-old female student? Not a chance. We would not have heard the teacher's reasons/excuses either; that he was lonely or felt like a helpless puppy. Oh the "helpless puppy" quote may have made it into print, but only to show how crazy the guy was. There is definitely a double standard because the feminist driven agenda demands that the male be thoroughly punished and ostracized, even if the 15-year-old student is mature and a willing participant. Unlike Gehring's case, it is treated as a serious breach of trust, not something that's cute.
The Ontario Teacher's College have lifted Gerhring's license to teach in Ontario pending the holding of a hearing. From reading and listening to media accounts of her fun-filled time in jolly old England, it's hard to see why.