Teachers play a very important role in our lives, after all they're tasked with educating our children so they can grow up to be functional and productive members of society.
While the majority of educators are trustworthy professionals who simply want the best for their students, there are some who have breached this trust through some very inappropriate actions. More recently, there have been media reports of teachers involved in physically injuring students, encouraging suicide and sexual abuse.
Unfortunately, abuse of power by teachers is anything but new. Before these new cases surfaced, there was another infamous teacher that made headlines in the 90s for having a sexual relationship with one of her students.
In 1997, Shorewood Elementary School teacher, Mary Kay Letourneau was sentenced to 7 years in prison after she pleaded guilty for two counts of second-degree child rape against her 12-year-old student, Vili Fualaau.
At the time of her arrest, Letourneau was a married mother of four but a source told People that the 34-year-old Seatlle teacher and her pupil "want to be together" and that "they're drawn together like magnets."
The case triggered a media frenzy like no other and every new detail sparked outrage among people everywhere. However, this did not stop the May-December relationship from further blossoming. The pair continued their courtship which resulted in the birth of two daughters, one of which was born behind bars.
They tied the knot in 2005 surrounded by 250 guests and they have since appeared to lead a normal life - until now.
This week, People.com has reported an update about the couple's relationship status. Find out what it is on the next page.
After an illicit affair, a stint in jail, two children and 12 years of marriage, 33-year-old Fualaau has reportedly filed for legal separation from Letourneau.
According to a source close to the couple, there is no third party involved but the pair has just naturally grown apart and it is unlikely that they will reconcile.
"They've been having issues for a while now," reveals the source. "They tried to work through them, but it didn't work. They're still committed to being good parents to their children."
Letourneau's attorney, David Gehrke, also spoke out following news of the controversial couple's separation.
"When one person is unhappy in the relationship, the other person can't be happy either," says Gehrke. "And there are two people in this relationship."
"She could try to contest it, but that's legally tough to do," he says. "Perhaps if they want to figure out about the children and child support, but their kids are getting pretty old now."
The last time the Letourneau and Fualaau were in the media, it was for an interview with Barbara Walters in time for their 10th anniversary. The couple opened up about their marriage, insisted that they were happy with each other and that their story doesn't define them.
"There is a story of us that has a life of its own, but it's not our story," the former schoolteacher told Walters.
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