Psychologist: Students involved with teachers become ostracized

EDISON - A psychologist who specializes in sexual abuse of children says students involved in physical relationships with teachers often pay the price afterward.

In the past two weeks, two northern New Jersey teachers have been charged with sexually assaulting male students.

Jillian Clementi, a 28-year-old Bergen County softball coach and social studies teacher, was accused of having an ongoing sexual relationship with a student who has since graduated.

In Passaic County, Kristin Leone, a social studies teacher, was accused of having sex with a 16-year-old boy she was tutoring.

Dr. Susan Cohen Equilin, a licensed psychologist who has no direct knowledge of either case, says victims, regardless of gender, often become social outcasts after the relationships are revealed.

Equilin says the victim is often held responsible by peers and adults in the community for destroying the career and life of the teacher.

The ostracism often leads to victims dropping out or transferring to other schools. Victims can also have difficulty forming healthy future relationships.

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