Inside Nova  tells us that Tina Marie Amato plead guilty to sex with a student.  Immediately, seeing the title, an image popped into my head of an older person taking advantage of a younger person–a sexual predator as it were.  After I read the article, I am not so sure that is how it worked this time.

I knew one of the men who was arrested last year at one of the local schools. I have friends who knew the kids involved.  Every last one of the professional  adults I spoke with felt that the teacher was set up by this kid.  Whoa!  That’s a switch.  Now am I saying the male teacher was innocent.  Oh hell no.  He was stupid, dumb and all the other words that pop up.  And he was set up.  He crossed a professional line that allowed him to be set up.  He got what he deserved for not maintaining his professionalism.

I expect the same thing happened to Ms. Amato.  She was convicted of :

“… three counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor by a custodian and one count of crimes against nature.”

We all know what that means without spelling it out. However, it marks Ms. Amato for life and puts her on the sex offenders list for time immemorial.  If she ever gets her life straightened out and has a family, she probably won’t be able to even go to a parent-teacher conference for her own kid.  She has destroyed any chances she ever had of a teaching career.

So, is Tina Amato a hopeless pervert?  Probably not.  She, like Male Teacher in the example above, is probably just stupid, dumb, and yes, set up.  Let’s look at what came out in court as far as facts:

On April 1, 2011, school administrators found out about the relationship when they confiscated the boy’s cell phone, because he was texting in school. The school administrator found “texts of a vulgar and sexual nature” from Amato to the teen on his phone and contacted police, Prince William County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Regan Kline said in court Thursday..

The boy, who was not indentified because of his age, told authorities his relationship with Amato began when he was in the ninth grade, in the 2008-2009 school year, prosecutors said.

The boy said he approached Amato, who was his English teacher, repeatedly and, towards the end of the school year got her to kiss him in an empty classroom, prosecutors said.

The two continued their relationship over the summer by chatting online and occassionally going to the movies together, prosecutors said.

During the boy’s sophomore year, the relationship became sexual, authorities said. The two would have sex at an area movie theater occasionally and at least once had sex in a Woodbridge hotel, according to court documents.

Amato told police that she fell in love with the boy, prosecutors said.

The boy said “he did not want to call himself manipulative, but he had a hold over her,” Kline said.

After reading all that, and, I am sad to say, looking at the picture of Ms. Amato, I almost see HER as the victim.  Of course, she is the adult, and she was the professional, and she crossed the line so these things could happen. 

The point here is that we hear more and more about these incidents happening in public schools.  For a while, I thought schools were attracting more and more perverts as teachers.  I am not so sure about that.  I think perhaps these things have gone on a long time.  I am convinced now that there are 2 types of cases of student/adult (not all cases are teachers–some are coaches, bus drivers, substitutes, teacher aids, etc) inappropriate situations. Some are adults preying on children.  Those people need to be removed and jailed.

Then there are the dumbos.  The dumbos are teachers who are really victimized by students.  Some students just see it as a challenge.  Obviously this boy saw Ms. Amato as a challenge.  I believe Male Teacher was a challenge to his “victim.”  I don’t mean to excuse any of these adults.  Once again, they crossed a professional line that should not be crossed.  However, teachers need to be on their guard.  In particular, younger male teachers need to always make certain doors are open and witnesses are present when dealing with kids.  They are the most vulnerable for batting eye lashes and sweet talk with the young ladies.  They also need to be careful about boys also.  Students and teachers should not exchange text messages or chit chart on Facebook.  Students should never be friended until that student is no longer at the school. 

Nearly all schools, at least in our area have school networking for such things.  If students and teachers must communicate after hours, (and there are many many good reasons to do so), the school communication system should be used.  Maintaining one’s professionalism in today’s climate does a great deal to avoid situations like what happened to my acquaintence and to this young woman who I just feel sorry for.  Apparently she was flattered and she made some life-altering bad choices that can never be undone.  Extremely sad for her and another black eye for education.

Where there winners?  Probably the lawyers and the kid who now will go around for the rest of his life bragging that he scored with his English teacher.  He had nothing to lose. 


12 Thoughts to “Former Gar-Field teacher pleads guilty to sex with student”

  1. Censored bybvbl

    I wonder if this problem of teachers becoming involved with their students is more prevalent now or just more reported and prosecuted. When I was in high school there were a couple of girls who sat on the front row and repeatedly crossed their legs in front of the French teacher. I think they were only after “A”s. However, one of the substitute teachers was involved sexually with one of the football players. No one was punished for anything as far as I knew and I knew the ball player and the girls. The football player was sexually active and probably viewed the substitute teacher (probably in her twenties) as a conquest. The school seemed more concerned about hem lengths on dresses and cuffs on pants than they did about whether these items were being shed.

    1. When I was in high school one of the dudes on the board of directors bought a junior a convertible. He later left his wife and kids for her. She had married someone else while in high school and was the only kid I knew allowed to be married and still attend school. Interestingly enough, the man was also a Va state delegate. I think he was removed from office but not sure. Google doesn’t turn up much.

      The history teacher was also ‘befriending’ a friend of mine. I don’t know to what extent and in those days, no one would have said. Administration was concerned but probably not backed up.

      I worked with a woman who had married her teacher. If all else fails, we can ask Newt. He married his geometry teacher. I think even back then in some cases it was conquests. There are just people who are ‘collectors’ and manipulators and they start at an early age.

  2. Starryflights

    I blame this on the libertine culture created by Governor McDonald and the republican legislator.

  3. Cato the Elder

    Damn. Where were these teachers when I was in school?

  4. I think it is a disgrace that this is going on. I know that you are only kidding Cato, but I find it disturbing, regardless of who is being victimized.


  5. SlowpokeRodriguez

    Why God!! Why couldn’t my French teacher have taken indecent liberties with me!! It’s NOT FAIR!!!

  6. punchak

    I don’t know what to think about this.
    Kids can’t drink alcohol until they are 21 years of age, which is ridiculous.
    They can go to war at 18.
    At what age are they allowed to have sex?

    1. The drinking age was pulled back because of alcohol related deaths on highways. Its very statistically provable. Kids cannot be forced to go to war at 18. I also believe there are places on base where they can drink if not 21 in most places.

  7. Cargosquid

    The drinking age was pulled back because the federal government mandated that any state that had a lower drinking age than 21 would lose highway funding, yet again, meddling in things that the Federal government has no right to.

    Either one is an adult or one is not an adult.

    1. What does this possibly have to do with the feds? Did you post this in the wrong place?

      What do voting and drinking have to do with each other? Nothing. Why can’t the age of majority go back to 21?

  8. The rental car industry restricts who can and cannot rent a car until age 25 without paying a huge surcharge, if allowed at all. I would be more than in favor of returning the age of majority to 21 since we no longer draft.

    Congress isn’t going to do that. They want the youth vote.

    Who names ‘the age of majority?’ In this case, I believe the courts did. Just because you are allowed to vote in federal elections don’t mean you are an adult.

    The feds were right to stick their nose into the drinking age. The lives saved makes it worthwhile. Kids shouldn’t be learning to drive and drink at the same time.

  9. NoHype

    What is even worse is that as a State we are giving more adult rights and privileges to people not even 18yrs old. They can drive at 16, drop out of school, and get certain medical treatments. On the other side of the coin full time “adults” in college can’t claim themselves as independent on their taxes and their parents get to pay their health insurance until they are 26. So as Moon asks Who names ‘the age of majority?’ unfortunately the answer is whichever gov’t agency can screw me over the most. I think there should be a single age declared for adulthood and that is the point in which you get every adult right and privilege not a mix and match.

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