The case of the pedophile teacher

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It's easy to understand why parents would be upset to have P. M. [edit] teaching their children. Mr. M. [edit], a physics teacher at the Bronx High School of Science, is also a leader of the North American Man-Boy Love Association. [...]

No one alleges that Mr. M. [edit] has done anything wrong in his 31 years as a classroom teacher. Nor has he been charged with any violations of law. Indeed, school officials have known about his membership in the Man-Boy Association since the mid-1980's but took no steps to remove him until a televised report in March stimulated parent opposition. But New York City school officials have now moved to dismiss him on the grounds that the views he associates himself with in private life interfere with the proper functioning of a school system. [...]

The idea of returning Mr. M. [edit] to the classroom troubles us. But the idea of dismissing a tenured teacher with an apparantly sound record because of views expressed outside the classroom troubles us more. Without hard evidence of illegal acts or classroom misconduct there's no clear way to distinguish Mr. M.'s [edit] case from others involving politically unpopular views or unconventional life styles. Would exemplary teachers who happen to be homosexual, or who espouse anarchist views outside the classroom, be next?

Mr. M.'s [edit] views are as repugnant to us as to many parents. But three decades of teaching without complaint and an expressed willingness to follow societal norms in his role as a teacher provide no basis for denying Mr. M. [edit] his civil rights.

source: Article 'The Case of the Pedophile Teacher'; New York Times; 9 October 1993