Plano ISD Teacher Says Not All "Sex With Student" Stories Should Be Treated Equally

texas teaching certificate.jpg
It would appear that Robert Lange, a social studies teacher at Williams High School in Plano, is well-liked by his students; one writes that he was "was the coolest teacher I have ever had." And not so long ago he was awarded cash money for having been named a finalist for the H.E.B. Excellence in Education Award. But at the moment, Lange, who's had a Texas teacher certificate since '79, isn't allowed to teach any longer: His credentials were revoked by the State Board for Educator Certification on April 8 following the August 2010 recommendation of an administrative law judge. The reason: Lange had sex with a student during winter break '07-'08.

But that is not the whole story, according to a legal doc posted on Courthouse News -- far from. Lange is taking on the state board in Travis County District Court, hoping to get his credentials back, because, he says, first off, the student was 18 when the consensual encounters took place with the student identified only as "CS." And he wasn't her teacher -- matter of fact, she wasn't even a Plano ISD student, but a senior in the Mesquite Independent School District. That's a whole 'nother county. And one in which Lange's never been a teacher. From the complaint:
The sexual encounters did not occur on school property. They occurred in a martial arts studio on private property. The sexual encounters did not occur during school time. They occurred in late December and early January when school was not in session. The sexual encounters did not occur directly or indirectly within the context of any school activity. CS received no extra credit for her participation in the martial arts program. At the time of the sexual encounters in question, CS was an adult, 18 years of age, acting on her own volition, admittedly instigating the two sexual encounters.
Lange wants another hearing. And he wants his job back.
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191 comments
Corvi
Corvi

Okay, I get that he broke an ethics contract that was a bit too vague, but taking away his credentials is going overboard. Okay, firing him for violating ethics.. But he still should have the right to teach. There is a disproportionate amount of bad teachers in the world, and it seems that it deprives his ACTUAL students. The whole purpose of banning teacher-student relationships is to protect Students from being taken advantage of for grades.. At least to my knowledge. If he doesn't teach the student and never has, and the student is of consenting age I think that portion of the code of ethics is rather unethical. It might not be one's cup of tea, and might look a little seedy, but as long as there was nothing going on that would harm her I don't see why that is any of the boards business, and needs to be remedied. Taking away a man's livelyhood over a lengthy document that - as you can see - can be taken different ways depending on the reader is rather cruel.

But that's my view.

RTGolden
RTGolden

It seems there is a lot of people recklessly applying their personal beliefs and randomly assigning legality here.  Law is not supposed to be an emotional arena.  Line up the facts:1) He has consensual sexual relationships with an 18 yo High School student.2) He is a certified teacher in the State of Texas.3) With his state certification he is bound to the State Code of Ethics (not the penal code, mind you, this is a Code defined specifically to govern Educators)4) The State code prohibits him from having sexual relations with a student, defined as any person, regardless of age, enrolled in primary or secondary school (K-12). or anyone under the age of 18 eligible to be enrolled in school. (k-12)5) His conduct violates the Code of Ethics to which he is bound by his certification.  His continuing certification is dependent upon adherence to the Code of Ethics.  

Regardless of age, legal consent, school attended or any of the other extenuating circumstances, he had sex with a current secondary school student.  He loses his certification.  There are those here saying the 18yo is capable of making her own informed decisions and they're right.  By extension, the teacher is also capable of making his own informed decisions and dealing with the consequences, of which he was aware.  This is not an unknown or even unprecedented code.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice explicitly prohibits sexual relations between commissioned officers and enlisted personnel.  Is it right? That's a subjective question.  Is it in the Code? No doubt about it.

Those people taking offense at this action are justified, but they're misdirecting their outrage.  The Board is well within the limits of their authority to rescind his certifications, as outlined by the code.  Direct your outrage at the Code itself, and the somewhat contradictory nature of it's defined restrictions, not at the board.

Jdyoumans
Jdyoumans

So he hooked up with an 18 year old girl (at her suggestion) that was not a student at the school he taught in and not during any kind of school activity.  Damn, lucky guy.  Give him back his license, he did nothing wrong.

iamronburgundy
iamronburgundy

Everyone does realize that this is from the State of Texas Teachers Code of Ethics right?

(19) Student--A person enrolled in a primary or secondary school, whether public, private, or charter, regardless of the person's age, or a person 18 years of age or younger who is eligible to be enrolled in a primary or secondary school, whether public, private, or charter.

This isn't from the Dallas or Collin County book, it's the State. This dude has a contract with his district and in that contract is the paperwork showing his teaching credential as issued by the State of Texas - which in signing it he agreed to abide by the code of ethics. Which states that a person enrolled in a primary (K-8) or secondary (9-12) school, public or private is off limits. You can forget the second part because it doesn't apply - the girl was in school, in the STATE OF TEXAS. The teacher is in the STATE OF TEXAS, and the code of ethics that he agreed to is for the ENTIRE STATE OF TEXAS. He didn't break the law, which is why he was never arrested. But he did break the rules, and in breaking the rules the State is allowed to enforce penalties up to and including termination of his teaching credential. When a teacher no longer has a credential they can no longer teach, so he lost his job as well. All the argument that Manic Vice keeps repeating is an evolved version of the "I can cheat of my wife/girlfriend if I'm out of the zip code" that all morons say to their friends.

Maybe I missed the following paragraph in the Code that says

(20) Non-Student - A person enrolled in a primary or secondary school, whether public, private, or charter, regardless of the persons age who is not located within the same US postal code, city, or county boundary of any other student, teacher, administrator, or county/district official.

Oh.... well then... bang away morons!!!

Anon
Anon

Moralfags are retarded.

radii
radii

legal age for sex around the world is generally lower than the 18 years in most U.S. states - 16 in most places, as young as 15 in some, and even lower than that elsewhere - sexual maturity is regarded as a cultural touchstone and America - because of its Puritan background - has rather prudish cultural laws on the books ... biology- nature- tells us girls as young as 9 or 10 are ready for childbirth because they start to menstruate, yet laws won't let them have sex until age 18 in most states in the U.S. Boys can ejaculate as young as 12 in some cases so they too are ready for sex and fertilization according to biology and nature. This teacher didn't do anything wrong. Off campus - legal adults - anything goes! It's because this happened in right-wingnut Christo-fascist Texas that this is even an issue for anyone.

Kuei
Kuei

Right. But in america, the government and lawyers get to seize everything you have if they catch you humping at 17 year old. THAT makes it reason enough to have the ridiculous laws on the books. Add to the fact that 40 year old women don't want to compete with 16-17 year old girls and that's all she wrote. I've seen 15 year old girls that were built well enough to put any 30 year old woman to shame. And the games 40 year old american women play are right out of elementary school. Just get a Thai woman and be done with all that american trash.

Dudley "Booger" Dawson
Dudley "Booger" Dawson

Look man we know you have a super small penis and need a woman of smaller stature to deal with your inadequacy.  You probably like that subserviant crap since you have probably been told by good old american woman that you are a neddle dicked asswipe (which you are) and your mail order wife doesn't know any better.

Stanley_Ipkiss
Stanley_Ipkiss

not that interested in a mail order bride..something about paying for it cheapens it for me..each to their own though

Concerned
Concerned

I feel sorry for you Miami Vice. Your ironically blind hatred of Christianity is by far the most disturbing part of this article commentary. You are at least as prejudiced as the most extreme of those you hold in such disdain. Look in the mirror and think before you post such vitriolic bile in the future.

Kuei
Kuei

Religion is a tool to control a fool.

Anon
Anon

Ram a bible up your @$$.

Support
Support

If the Girl had any guts she would sue the school district.

peterherz
peterherz

Lucky bastard minus losin yer job ;) Hard lessons no pun intended.

Wes
Wes

This is a cut-and-dried case of "he knew better".  When you're a teacher, and not the President, nobody wants to hear you define the word 'is'.  We just want to know that you've got your head in the right place.  Regardless of county, age, location, policy, district, etc...this HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER slept with a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT.  Semantics are not appropriate here, unless this is a line that we're really trying to make grayer and grayer, until heavy petting with a 10th grader is alright unless they actually got under the clothes or something.  It's scary how the times have changed here, and that many people will take the side of the teacher that got caught with a student...A STUDENT.

Stanley_Ipkiss
Stanley_Ipkiss

not his student and that student happens to be a legal adult, so therefore there is no crime and therefore should be no punishment..your arguement holds no water..Im from UK and 16 is legal here but personally i wouldnt be interested in a 16 year old but my point is it is legal and therefore if someone is interested i dont have much to say on the matter (unless that 16 year old is my daughter of course) as they are backed up by the law..i dont take issue with america's laws but americans seem to as even when within the law this man can still lose his job? seems a bit backwards

Peter Voth
Peter Voth

I'm sick of living in this puritanical anti-sex culture. I'm moving to Thailand!

Sbrutski33
Sbrutski33

According to any teacher contract a teacher can lose their job for moral turpitude...wouldn't this fall under that?

Nicholas Reichart
Nicholas Reichart

because there was no moral turpitude.how is consensual sex with an adult in violation?

John Machala
John Machala

Frankly, I think he should get his job back. But it was pretty stupid on his part to begin with, just because of the gray area.

WixFoo
WixFoo

Sounds to me like he should get his job back. Woman was NOT a student and woman WAS 18 yers old making her legal age, I dont see what the issue is at all here.

www.real-privacy.no.tc

Manic Vice
Manic Vice

This teacher should have his teaching license returned.

Here's why:It is not the business of *ANYONE* else what two consenting adults OF LEGAL AGE do in the privacy of wherever they are. This girl was of legal age, and consented to having sex with this man. No crime has occurred. Additionally, this was *NOT* her teacher. This student is from an entirely different county.

This teacher would be bad if he had engaged a student he was teaching. I can definately see a conflict of interest there, but he only engaged a woman from another county.

Those of you who say he is wrong, maybe so, but he hasn't committed any offense that would require his license to be revoked.

What's the problem here?

Return this teachers license, he's done nothing wrong.

MAR
MAR

As one of his former female students, I cannot be happier to see him out of the schools. Myself along with many other females at the school, ones not even in his classroom, have never felt more uncomfortable around a teacher. Claims of inappropriate conduct were brought up when some students confided in another teacher on campus. When this teacher brought it to the attention of the principal, she was fired instead of him because he claimed innocence. Multiple students spoke out but still nothing was done. He would constantly sit on only the females desks and look down shirts and stare and follow you as you walked by.

As far as what he's violated, Texas Adminiatrative Code, Chapter 247-Rule 247.2, Enforcable Standards, section (3) Ethical Conduct Toward Students, standard 3.6 states "The edcuator shall not solicit or engage in sexual conduct or a romantic relationship with a student or minor." Even though this person may not be a student of his in his district, she is still a student in Texas and his license is with the state Texas, not a district or school. It doesn't matter how they met or if it was winter break, he's still in violation of the code of ethics that every teacher in Texas must follow.

Lal4
Lal4

Jesus, I'm glad somebody remembers this.I wish there was a way to make this comment go to the top of the list.  He has a history of inappropriate behavior and he is a bad person.

By the way were you in my humanities class?

TXnamewrangler
TXnamewrangler

This was not the first time he was in trouble. He was sexually inappropriate with students several times. He should not be in the classroom.

MadDog
MadDog

 Is there any information about why this became public in the first place?The contract seems to vague and overextended to be enforceable.

K P
K P

Eh, I can actually see it both ways. I don't know enough details about the guy or the girl to form much more of an opinion. I mean, she was 18 and not *his* student, but still, teachers, you have to learn that having sex with ANY student is not smart. Yes, a typical 18 year old girl knows what she is doing. When I was 18, I sure as hell knew what I was doing when coming on to a man, teacher or not.  Doesn't mean it was a good idea on his part to say yes. If they feel they need to fire the guy for being stupid, so be it.

Sanders Kaufman
Sanders Kaufman

His comments show that the board was right to fire him.He doesn't understand the damage he's doing to kids when he has sex with them, or that he's a sexual predator from whom they need to be protected.This is a serious problem throughout Plano's religious and Republican communities.

Manic Vice
Manic Vice

Step off your high horse, please, I need to talk to you.

The girl is 18 years old. The fact that she is a student in another county is irrelevant. She is 18, and an adult. She can make her own choices.

I would agree with your post if she was UNDER AGE, but that's not the case.

He's no more a sexual predator than you are intelligent.

This 18 year old was a WOMAN (Read: ADULT), not a KID. Read the article again, your reading comprehension seems to be under-developed.

There was nothing predatory here, other than your post.

jayc
jayc

What if I am a local business owner who donates money to the school as a booster.  By donating money to a school district does that disallow me to have sex with an 18yo student?

jayc
jayc

Can a cop have sex with a person who is 18 years of age who lives in the patrol area of the cop?  The cop has an element of authority over the 18 year old.  Maybe a new code of ethics for cops needs to be created.

Manic Vice
Manic Vice

Cops are a whole different story.

Yes we need a more strict code of ethics for the cops, because they don't follow the code of ethics they currently have.

Teachers are something else entirely.

And yes, a cop can have sex with someone who is in their patrol area, just because you are a cop doesn't mean the department gets to dictate who you have sex with(provided it's legal), that's your own personal choice, like it was the teachers.

jayc
jayc

What if the girl is home schooled?  Still a student but not as defined by the Code of Ethics.

Fatty Arbuckle's Tub Stopper
Fatty Arbuckle's Tub Stopper

If she's home schooled and having sex with her teacher, that's a whole 'nother story. 

jayc
jayc

Not if the teacher is a teacher at a local school district and the home schooled student and teacher meet in town.

Ice Cream
Ice Cream

I keep reading posts about it not being illegal.  Legality has nothing to do with whether or not he should be fired. He should be fired because he is a teacher having sex with a high school student, doesn't matter if she was in his class or at his school.  Nor does it matter that she came on to him.

Manic Vice
Manic Vice

How so?

I think that you have this view simply because you either don't want to, or are incapable of forming coherent thought on this subject.

So, legality aside, if I was a teacher and say I went on vacation to... Australia. I then had sex with an 18 year old girl, who is just finishing her year of school...  I should lose my teaching license, just because she can be defined as a "student"?

Do you realize just how stupid and un-realistic that is?

But by all means, keep discriminating against this man, you're no better than those idiotic bible belt thumpers trying to force their views down other people's throats.

In a case like this, legality DOES matter. So does intent, and so does what happened. who initiated contact is also important.

You can try to shrug the facts off as unimportant, but that just makes you look like an idiot. Sorry.

iamronburgundy
iamronburgundy

"You" didn't sign a teaching contract with a code of ethics in Australia. You signed one in Texas. It's illegal for me to smoke pot in Farmers Branch, but if I go to Amsterdam I can burn through a bowl sitting in a cafe no problem. I didn't break the rules because I'm outside of the area where the rules apply. It's a State of Texas code of ethics.

The general "you" of course.

K P
K P

So what I'm hearing is we need to review the Texas Code of Ethics to not be so draconian. From the number of stories I've read recently about teachers who actually ARE predators, the code's not all that effective anyway. 

Ambular53
Ambular53

What is a 53 year old doing cohorting around with an 18 year old, high school senior? and they had sex at a martial arts studio? was he teaching her how to defend herself then it just accidently slipped ewww  

Manic Vice
Manic Vice

So what?

Their relationship doesn't hinge on your view.

Who are YOU to judge?

Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean its "Ewwww". That's a very 6 year old way of thinking.

Grow up.

truthteller
truthteller

even the best and brightest can always be brought down by the young ass. been that way since time began.

Manic Vice
Manic Vice

Brought down?

Not yet. And he shouldn't be. He's done nothing wrong.

My guess, he will fight, and I wish him all the luck in the world.

WHSStudent06
WHSStudent06

I agree with many of you here who believe that he broke no law. However, I had this guy as a teacher 7 years ago. No girl EVER wanted to be in his class. A legitimate harassment case was brought against him when I was a student that got an incredible teacher fired for her role in trying to expose him, while he got a slap on the wrist. They didn't even investigate after he claimed innocence. So, I say it's justice finally being served.

Manic Vice
Manic Vice

I understand your perspective.

However, since no crime was comitted, there's no "justice" being served here.Sorry, your ill feelings towards this teacher don't qualify as "reason" to have him dismissed.

Don't like him? Request another teacher.

Stop slamming the man on a public forum, you could be sued for libel.

senlosi
senlosi

You missed the part where that "incredible" teacher coached a lot of her students to put in complaints against him. There WAS an investigation, and he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

You also missed the part where that wasn't even the first time she's tried to oust another teacher.

GG, must've been one of her pets.

Williams Faculty suck(ed)(s)
Williams Faculty suck(ed)(s)

there was no coaching, I remember the girls before and after they asked for advice...and before and after the Williams High's "investigation". It is amazing that you would be so dismissive of a victim, just world principle at play.  Williams had a lot of worthless human beings in faculty positions, including drug dealers and sex offenders.  Maybe some in Williams could never come to terms with that...but the students knew.

K P
K P

Ah I love how the plot always thickens. You'd think people would have learned by now not to make such quick knee-jerk judgements without all the information. Of course, that would imply that human beings weren't completely stupid, so... so much for that.

Manic Vice
Manic Vice

Or the teacher herself.

I wouldn't be surprised if this "student" was one of the "pets", though.

Jesus
Jesus

If you are legit, then the guy deserves a comeuppance. He also deserves prison time for wasting taxpayer funds by filing suit in Travis County court. Frivolous lawsuits need to be stopped. Sounds like he's living in his own little world, where everyone else is wrong and he is always right. We've all run into these people. Put him away.

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