Q: Can a teacher engage in a relationship with a student after they have graduated?
I got into a debate about this. My friend said that within the state of Michigan, that's where I live, a teacher may not engage a student for about a year or two after they have graduated. When I ask about teacher student relations. I'm not just talking about high school teachers. Lets say a student runs into a teacher they had in 7th or 8th grade, obviously that comes off as a little inappropriate on the teachers part. Then to follow that question with student teachers too. Do the same rules apply?
The answer to your question is subject to much debate. From the teacher's perspective, assuming that the student is then over the age of 18, he or she may find that being involved with a former student has career implications if not legal problems.
It is true that under Michigan law, a teacher could be charged with an aggravated CSC (1st or 3rd) under the teacher - student provision even if the student has since graduated. The rationale touches on consent. The real problem is that the teacher in such a scenario places themselves in a defense position. The assumption - right or wrong - is that something untoward was going on while the student was in school, and other instances may now be going on with other students. No teacher who cares about his or her career should ever purposely place him or herself to call any teacher-student relationship into question.
Of course, there is a natural end point where I think it might be safe - albeit perhaps not from a public perception prospective. If a 30 year old starts dating a 50 year old who happened to have been the 30 year old's middle school teacher, that's far different - perception-wise - from a 25 year old dating an 18 year old college freshmen who was the 25 year old's student 9 months ago.
As to student teachers, the same rules apply. They would be "teachers" under the statute because they are in a position of authority relative to the student. Perhaps more importantly, they are not yet "teachers" from the standpoint of having a paid job in their choosen profession, and the backing of a union. If a student teacher is serious about ever having a teaching job, it would be wise to avoid giving anyone the idea that you are someone that can't keep his or her mitts off young adults.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.