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February 26, 2011

Long-Term Implications of Teacher-Student Affairs

You see stories in the news about high school teachers who take advantage of their students, abusing their position of trust, authority, and relative power over the student. It's certainly not a normal relationship. In fact, it's a criminal relationship.

I see the pictures of the teachers involved and I wonder:
  • Gee she looks mostly normal
  • She could have picked on somebody her own age

I see the stories of the young students involved and I wonder:
  • How does this introduction to sexuality shape the rest of their life?
  • How does it affect their view of relationships, morality and family?
  • Do they end up with an unhealthy worldview?
  • Do they end with a twisted sense of appropriate behavior?
  • Do they pose as moral paragons to compensate for their experience?
  • What kind of parents will these victims be?
  • How will the victims behave when they're in positions of authority?

I raise this issue because one of these kids in particular, now quite a bit older, is poised to run for the Presidency of the United States. In fact, he was just lecturing the sitting President on his dereliction of duties and Obama's risk of impeachment.

In today's NY Times, Newt Gingrich says, “People have to decide who I am. Am I a person they want to trust to lead the country or not?”

Newt Gingrich met Jackie Battley when Jackie was his high school geometry teacher. Newt and Jackie began dating secretly when he was 16.

According to Stephen Talbot in Salon,
As a high school student -- precocious, lonely, overweight -- Newt secretly romanced his geometry teacher, a buxom, matronly woman named Jackie Battley. The furtive romance with his teacher included nighttime sessions in the back of a car in remote areas of Fort Benning, Ga. (Newt's step-father was an Army colonel.)

Once, Newt and Jackie were so worked up, they got their car caught in a tank trap on the military base and had to call his best friend to rescue them before a daylight exposé, according to the friend's widow, Linda Tilton.

When he graduated high school, she took a teaching position at the college he was going to attend. They married when he was 19 and she was 26. His parents thought the marriage was a mistake. His stepfather, Robert, refused to attend the wedding; his mother, Kathleen, and sisters felt compelled to stay home too.

Newt and Jackie had two kids, fast, and Newt went on to advanced studies. It was, after all, the time of conscription during the Vietnam War. Children and graduate school meant an exemption.

According to an article in Vanity Fair:
Dolores Adamson, Gingrich's district administrator from 1978 to 1983: "Jackie put him all the way through school. All the way through the PhD ... He didn't work. Personal funds have never meant anything to him. He's worse than a six-year-old trying to keep his bank balance ... Jackie did that."

Dot Crews: "It was common knowledge that Newt was involved with other women during his marriage to Jackie. Maybe not on the level of John Kennedy. But he had girlfriends -- some serious, some trivial."

In the spring of 1980, Gingrich left Battley after having an affair with Marianne Ginther. It is unclear whether it was the Ginther affair or Battley's diagnosis with uterine cancer that prompted his seeking his first divorce; it is reported that he presented her with his terms for divorce while she was in the hospital. According to the NY Times, Newt's explanation of Newt's first divorce was, "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a President. And besides, she has cancer."

Shortly after that infamous encounter, Gingrich refused to pay his alimony and child-support payments. The First Baptist Church in his hometown had to take up a charity collection to support the family Gingrich had deserted.

After his divorce from Battley, Newt married Marianne Ginther. While married to Ginther, Newt had an affair with Callista Bisek, 23 years his junior. He continued the affair while pressing the Lewinsky scandal. After Marriane Ginther was diagnosed with a condition that leads to MS, Newt divorced her.

He subsequently married his third wife, Callista Bisek.

There's a lot of issues with Newt and his relationships, and it seems like it might stem from his victimization in the abusive relationship with his first wife high school geometry teacher.

I'm just saying: given a choice between the Mormon, the Muslim, or Newt the Family Values Trigamist, I think I've got to go with the Muslim.

(FWIW I know he's not a Muslim. J/K)


Anonymous said...

Chances are you'd vote for the Supposed Muslim regardless of who he was running against. your a democrat trying to pretend you are having deep thoughts to support a predetermined outcome. furthermore you ate going to want the time you spent writing this tripe on your death bed. vote for who you want and keep it to yourself, that way people can't assess your poor decision making skills.
Oh yeah, anyone with half a brain knows Obama's not a Muslim...the man is a malignant narcissist there's no room in his head for a god of any type.

Anonymous said...

It is always hilarious to watch a GOP keyboard warrior sally forth to simultaneously hurl bad homonyms and ad hominems with all the force their angry little fingers can muster...never knowing that their ignorance turns it all to comedy in mid flight.

Thank you GOP, for 20 years of tortured spelling and fractured grammar.....a reminder that the back of the class is still there, chewing gum and pulling hair.

"Your (sic)welcome"

Anonymous said...

He who is without sin please cast the first stone. Look at President Clinton's past (it probably is more immoral than Newt's or President Kennedy or all the other presidents who have a history of affairs while in office) and yet he, President Clinton, made a very good President. There is no one perfect out there so let us just elect someone who can lead us
out of this economic mess, a leader similar to Clinton

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine Newt's 3rd wife Callistra as First Lady? What an example for our children! You can bet the tabloids will carry raunchy stories about Callistra and Newt.

Anonymous said...

'He who is without....' I guess you are saying that you are without sin since you are choosing to hurl the stone? I bet Newt thought he was without sin as well but we found out later that he'd been sinning since he was about 16....
Just sayin....:)

The Beauty Pirate said...

"Thank you GOP, for 20 years of tortured spelling and fractured grammar.....a reminder that the back of the class is still there, chewing gum and pulling hair." Classic! Anonymous, you made my day :)

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your article on Gingrich; his affairs, career aspirations, and his history of being less than honorable. After discovering your blog, I will absolutely return to read it again. Nice job with it!

One area where I wasn't really impressed was your final paragraph where you call Obama a Muslim, and minimize it with your "FWIW I know he's not a Muslim. J/K" comment. The Muslim thing is getting really old, even though you were "J/K" and playing on the irony of the comment.

Otherwise, thanks for the great article. I'll be back.

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