EDITOR: There are crimes a person can commit outside of one’s chosen profession and sworn duty that do not necessarily diminish the accomplishments the person might have achieved within that person’s chosen profession (depending on the crime, of course).
An accomplished accountant that embezzles, however, is not and never was a good accountant; the moment a great police officer steals evidence, however, that police officer never was more than a criminal; a high school teacher/coach that engages in intercourse with one of his 17-year-old high school students, however, can no longer be considered anything other than a sex offender who committed statutory rape. That is the nature of some crimes and those are the ramifications for betraying your identity and duty.
Governing teachers and all public education employees, in addition to commonly known mores and norms, are codes of conduct and rules of law spelled out in a manner that someone with a middle school education can comprehend, and Rob Freeman’s sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student (19 years younger) was a wholesale violation of the most very basic tenet that public educators are expected, at a minimum, to uphold — protection of the children in their charge.
To defend Rob Freeman in this matter is a waste of breath; his actions were reprehensible, immoral, and brought scrutiny to the innocent as well as the guilty; his sentence is just. By the way, if the county District Attorney was correct in asserting that the victim was given an A grade for missing class while hanging out with Mr. Freeman then everybody in this county should be asking, “To what degree has integrity and accountability been put asunder at Union Mine High School during the past 14 years?”