A chilling story told by a 40-year-old Columbia woman about her experiences in junior high has prompted lawmakers to consider ways to crack down on the sexual abuse of teachers.
Amy Hester Davis has recounted her story before the House Education Committee. Davis painfully recalls a consensual affair she entered into with a male teacher in north-central Missouri’s Randolph County. The sexual relationship began when she entered 7 th grade and ended as she graduated 8 th grade.
Davis says she never came forward to authorities, because she was ashamed. She also says the teacher used various means to convince her to keep it secret. He told her that what they had was special and would be destroyed if shared. He said that revealing the affair would hurt her family and his. Ultimately, Davis says she felt too ashamed to come forward.
That changed after Davis read a series of articles published by the Associated Press that detailed what appears to be a growing problem: teachers preying on their students for sexual gratification. Davis says that convinced her she wasn’t alone and convinced her that perhaps her difficult past could help save other young people.
Davis says when she attempted to end the affair after about a year, her teacher raped her. After that incident, she went home and took a shower until the water ran cold. She says she got dressed and went down to have supper with her family and pretended as if nothing had ever happened to her. She says that’s how she lived the rest of her life, until now.
The committee has approved HB1341 , which would require annual background checks on teachers, add offenses to the list for which a teacher can lose certification and remove the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes.