The reaction to the anti-grooming bill from Florida has created a narrative from the "Don’t Say Gay" crowd, who in their opposition to the legislation have erased and minimized the reality that educators are capable of misbehavior that targets minors in the classroom.
Jack Posobiec of Human Events brought forward four such cases that have happened within the past week, alone.
One instance happened in Florida but the stories range from coast to coast.
- California: 56-year-old math teacher Gary Landergen of Fortuna Union High School faces allegations of sexual assault from "at least two students." The pair came forward with claims of inappropriate contact, leading to the teacher being placed facing administrative leave on Wednesday. He posted bail after being booked into Humboldt County jail. Detectives were able to find a few witnesses thus far to corroborate the claims made, but still encourage others to come forward in case more victims may be involved.
- Florida: 30-year-old Thomas Deane was a former teacher at the Canterbury private school. Now he faces charges of "Lewd or Lascivious Battery and Lewd and Lascivious Molestation." with a minor as back in February, he met the victim who is said to be between the ages of 12 and 16 on the Grindr app. From there it progressed to a sexual encounter. The headmaster of Canterbury said the victim involved wasn’t a student of the school, but Deane was no longer employed there.
- Iowa: 41-year-old former English teacher Justin David Rapier faces multiple rounds of charges of sexual exploitation by a school employee. In the latest case he was arrested for abusing a high-school girl at his home in Cedar Rapids on two separate occasions. Back in January, Rapier faced initial charges of sexual contact with a student and sent her text and social media messages over the course of several years.
- North Carolina: 27-year-old Shawn C. Hicks was a science teacher at Harnett Central Middle School until earlier this year. He faces three charges of "indecent liberties with a student" and is jailed on a $50,000 bond. The news brought shock and disbelief to the surrounding community. Further reporting says each infraction happened at the suspect’s home.
These situations come amid a time where outlets like the Washington Post accuse "grooming" of being fringe accusations that can sway policy. Whereas sites like VICE claim conservatives have "resurrected an old strategy of invoking pedophilia to tar their pro-LGBTQ opponents."
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