Teachers crossing the line

Jackson County, Ore. — Jacob Vizcarra is the 4th teacher in Jackson County this school year to be facing criminal charges after allegedly having sexual contact with a student. An additional teacher in Josephine County is also facing criminal charges.

NBC5 news reached out to a local sociologist to learn why authority figures like teachers see the consequences their peers face after engaging in similar inappropriate relationships and still get involved with students.

Dr. Echo Fields, a sociology professor at Southern Oregon University said it’s all about the offender justifying their actions. “Humans are not rational. There is not that clear thought process many times before they engage in inappropriate behavior,” said Prof. Fields. “They separate themselves from ‘those other bad people’.”

Dr. Fields added that in some cases the offender, teachers will use their position of authority in order to intimidate and victimize children.

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