Alabama has tough laws on student-teacher sex - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Alabama has tough laws on student-teacher sex

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
(WAFF) -

It seems we report on teacher-student sex arrests often. But is it actually more often than other states?

We first alerted you that 27-year-old Taylor Boyles, a fifth grade math and social studies teacher at Moulton Middle School, was arrested for allegedly having sex with an 18-year-old high school student in the same district. While it may seem like this happens more in Alabama than other places, the truth is that you simply hear about it more often in Alabama.

READ MORE: Lawrence County teacher charged with sex with student

WAFF 48 News' legal analyst, attorney Mark McDaniel, said Alabama has some of the toughest laws in the country when it comes to school employees and students engaging in sexual activity.

“We have a law that says school employees cannot have sexual contact or intercourse with students under the age of 19. So that’s a strict law. That's a tough law,” McDaniel said. “Again, most states don't have a law like that. So to say our teachers are immoral or worse than other states, that’s not the case. We just have a tough law."

The statute states school employees can’t have sexual intercourse or contact with a student who is less than 19 years old. School employees include teachers, administrators, coaches, resource officers, etc.

Alabama is one of the only states with this statute: Many other states that have similar statutes say the student can’t be younger than 18 as opposed to 19.

In Alabama, both parties must be 16 years old to legally consent to sex. In Tennessee, it’s 17 years old. But for school employees in Alabama, there's a completely separate statute that says students must be 19 or older to consent to sex with that school employee.

McDaniel said some lawyers argue it's unconstitutional to have that extra statute. Some believe it goes directly against the 14th Amendment of equal protection of rights for everyone. Because of this, McDaniel said he believes a case like this will eventually be challenged in the United States Supreme Court.

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