Most of us by now are familiar with the “Time’s Up” and the “Me too” movements sweeping the nation. These movements gained their worldwide attention at the 75th annual Golden Globe awards when the women of Hollywood all dressed in black to show their solidarity with women who were victims of harassment or sexual abuse.
Some even wore pins to show their solidarity with the cause, and this included the men of Hollywood, some of which were under fire themselves for committing acts of sexual abuse or assault. Since the awards show, the conversation has been started on what behavior is appropriate and what is not. But, what we still can’t ignore, are those less frequent cases where the women is the abuser. The following story depicts just that…
In 2013, Shawnetta Reece was a physical education teacher at Union County Middle School in Blairsville, Georgia. The school’s mission statement read: “We are growing as learners and leaders to leave a legacy. Students and staff alike participate in making this mission happen.” Reece had wished to make her own legacy.
She Was A Very Involved Teacher
As a track coach, Reece cared very much about her students, and she was especially involved in their progress. As many teachers nowadays do, Reece took to social media to highlight her student’s accomplishments…
She posted photos of her students on her Twitter page, which included both photos of the track team and retweets of motivational speeches. She was as involved as they come, even appearing in some of her own photos with the students.
In addition to her Twitter, Reece also had a Pinterest page which contained workout tips and nutritional recipes. The page was mainly centered around healthy food, further proving how much of a healthy lifestyle Reece maintained when she wasn’t working. But, despite what her social media led others to believe, there were things about Ms. Reece that the school didn’t know…
Deleted Her Social Media Accounts
After a few years, Reece’s Twitter page was deleted. There was no trace of it on the internet, and her student’s wondered what prompted such a change. Then, the reports started to come out.
Shawnetta Reece was being accused of having a sexual relationship with one of her students. It’s alleged that the encounter took place in 2013 and that the student was only 15-years-old at the time and was in the eighth grade, going on the ninth grade. She had apparently used her good looks to pressure him…
Reece was immediately arrested at her home and was charged with child molestation and sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority. Then, her disturbing introduction of herself on the teacher’s page of the school’s website came to light.
While the page has since been deleted, a syllabus bearing Reece’s name read: “Welcome to physical education at Union County Middle School…Your enthusiastic participation in this program will help ensure a rewarding and worthwhile experience.” It continued…
Misleading Her Students
“Physical fitness promotes improved learning in the classroom, developing of social skills, and habits that will lead to an enriched and healthy adulthood… Our philosophy emphasizes fitness, enjoyment of physical activity, and acquisition of basic sports skills.” Too bad Reece left out how she really was engaging in physical activity with her students.
Soon, Reece’s second victim came out. She had reportedly raped another boy in 2015, who was 18-years-old at the time. Police looked into the old track photos Reece took of her students to see if they could find the victims…
Identifying The Victims
It was soon determined that there was no indication that any of the students pictured on the page were involved in the allegations. Reece was arrested again for sexual assault, both times at her home and she is now dealing with serious charges. Additionally, she was fired from Union County Middle School and the website refers to her as a “former teacher.”
What Is Shawnetta Reece’s Fate?
Convictions for similar offenses in Georgia have resulted in sentences of 25 years in prison without the option of parole. Police are reportedly still investigating Reece to see if any other alleged misconduct took place and her case was transferred to the Enotah Judicial Circuit District Attorney prosecutors. Yet, what’s most disturbing is what men on message boards are saying following Reece’s arrest…
Males Condemned Reece’s Behavior
Males on message boards condemned Reece’s behavior, saying things like, “the only victims are the teenagers who didn’t get to sleep with [Reece].” Or, because Reece is an attractive woman, that they wish they were abused by her.
“Female Teachers Don’t Rape”
Here’s the main problem. In numerous articles all across the internet, when a female teacher rapes one of her students, it isn’t referred to as rape. It’s referred to as “having sex with” and engaging in a “lust relationship.”
They Have “Mental Illnesses”
Additionally, many of those women are said to have a “mental illness.” They are then treated for their “mental illness,” and either face a lesser charge than a man would, or they’re simply fired from school or resign.
Who Are These Women
The abusers can be married women, they can be dating, they can have kids, or they can be going through a divorce. These women are trying to recreate something in their mind to bring them back to a childhood situation where they had their first sexual or emotional arousal.
How Old Are They?
This is especially common in younger teachers who are in their early 20s and may see the relationships with her students as not very different from what she had when she was trying to date. The boundary then gets lost between the teacher and the student. If you do have the authority of the teacher over the student; it’s a very powerful one.
Younger People Are At The Highest Risk Of Sexual Assault
The majority of sexual assault victims are under 30. Approximately 54% of all assault cases involve people between the ages of 18-34. Still, younger people, especially students, are at risk too. It’s determined that students between the ages of 12-17 are at the greatest risk. But, what about the male students?
Male Students At Risk
As of 1998, 2.78 million men in the U.S. had been victims of attempted rape or completed rape and that number is climbing. While only 1 out of 10 rape victims are male, their stories are absolutely worth sharing.
What Happens To These Teachers After They’re Convicted?
Their marriages end, their children take sides and they’re thought of as a monster. Many of them get hospitalized psychiatrically or are put on heavy medication. Many of these are good teachers, but they’re never going to practice again.