Melinda Dennehy : her student is not so hot for teacher

Empty classroom

Classrooms are not always safe havens. Photo from Flickr.

Today in New Hampshire, high school English teacher Melinda Dennehy turned herself in on charges of lewdness and indecent exposure. Ms. Dennehy is accused of sending nude photos of herself to a 15-year old student as well as sexting (sexually texting) him more than once. The unidentified student also distributed these photos around the school. A book, movie, or tabloid deal may soon bring him some fast cash.

Melinda Dennehy had pursued student

The unidentified 15-year old male student of Melinda Dennehy that she had been pursuing, turned over four nude photographs that Melinda had allegedly emailed to him “several months ago”. He also alleges that he received several sexual text messages from Mrs. Dennehy. Before this student turned this information over to the police, however, he also circulated the nude photos of Ms. Dennehy around the school. Why he chose to wait for several months to copy and distribute these nude photographs is currently unknown.

Melinda Dennehy placed on leave, charged

As soon as administrators were alerted to the nude photographs circulating the school, they identified the teacher in them as Melinda Dennehy. She was immediately placed on paid administrative leave. The next day, she turned herself into police, where she was immediately charged and released on $10,000 bail. Mrs. Dennehy is scheduled to appear in Derry District Court on April 30th.

Melinda Dennehy’s alleged crimes count as a class B felony

Under New Hampshire legal code, if Melinda Dennehy is convicted of the crimes she is accused of, it would qualify as a class B felony because the student was only 15 years old. New Hampshire law would also require that she register as a sexual offender. This would mean that not only could Melinda Dennehy spend time in jail, but in the future she would have to live under a host of legal restrictions. These restrictions would no longer allow her to work in a school or near children, which would mean she would possibly end up having to get loans for people with bad credit just to survive.

Dennehy indicative of increased student / teacher incidents?

Ever since Mary Kay Letourneau, (now married to and living with the student she was convinced of assaulting), there has been increased attention on relationships between female teachers and their teenage students. WorldNetDaily compiled this list of female teachers that have been convicted of inappropriate relationships with male students. Melinda Dennehy seems like just one more name to add to this growing list. It has been called an epidemic, though I would be curious to see a similar list of male teachers accused or convinced of relationships with their female students. However, because there are significantly fewer male teachers, and because female students are less likely to report concerns, the numbers may well be skewed.