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April 30, 2013

China | US | France | Crime

English teachers in sex scandals

crimewatch-english-teacher.jpgWhen English teachers make the news, it's not always for good reasons. And when the students are underage, the stories range from borderline consensual to downright predatory. Just the last few days have seen several stories reported from around the world.

Foreign English teachers in China face tighter supervision in the wake of two child sex scandals in Beijing and Nanjing. The government has issued an "urgent notice" on regulating teachers' "daily activities" after two foreigners, one with a criminal record for child pornography and the other on the run from child-sex charges, were able to get jobs as English teachers.

One of the men, a 63-year-old American twice convicted of child pornography offenses in the US, is believed to have already left China. The other is 46-year-old Briton Neil Robinson (show on the BBC's "Crimewatch" website), who is wanted for questioning by British police in connection with child sex offenses. He has been detained by Chinese police for overstaying his visa. Both men worked as English teachers for several years without their past records being exposed. Sources cite poor enforcement of regulations restricting which schools could hire foreign teachers and rigorous background checks before registration as "a foreign expert" and receipt of a work permit.

Read the full story at the South China Morning Post.

In the US, a 27-year-old married English teacher in Virginia has been arrested after having an inappropriate relationship with her 17-year-old student. She has been charged with several offenses, including use of a mobile phone to send lewd photos, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and taking indecent liberties with a minor.

Read the full story at

Reports suggest a slightly more lenient approach in the case of an English teacher in the French city of Lille who had a "consensual" relationship with her 14-year-old female pupil. The girl's parents became suspicious of their daughter’s behaviour, and found hidden letters, emails and text messages of an erotic and romantic nature. They consulted medical and school authorities before the case was brought to the police. The teacher, who is 34 and unmarried, had already been transferred to a different school by the time the affair was revealed and is due to appear in court in June.

Read the full story at The Local.

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As a father of a 14 year old daughter I find the tolerant and gentler language used in the French to be unacceptable. I would not find it 'romantic' or 'erotic' for my daughter to be abused by one of her teachers of either gender and do not consider she is old enough to consent to such a relationship.

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