At Least This Dumb Kid’s Lie About His Teacher Is Making People Discuss Sexual Abuse

remember when pacey witter had an affair with miss jacobs omg

It’s pretty depressing that when you hear about a teenage boy claiming to have made out with his teacher, you don’t immediately assume that he’s full of it. At least this time, though, the big story isn’t that a teacher preyed on an underage student– it’s that adults just don’t understand Twitter.

This 17-year-old high school senior in Minneapolis, Reid Sagehorn, caused a huge uproar in his hometown when someone asked him in an online forum whether he’d ever made out with his 28-year-old teacher. Sagehorn posted his response on Twitter: “Actually, yes.” The next day at school, he got a two-month suspension.

Sagehorn swears that he never had any kind of inappropriate relationship with his teacher, and that he assumed everyone would understand that he was being ridiculous. He tells his local newspaper,

I thought everybody would take it as a joke. I think it’s definitely important that everybody who has heard about the story know how sincerely sorry I am. No matter how I meant it, it doesn’t matter… sarcasm doesn’t belong on the internet.

I’m so conflicted about this. On the one hand, it’s impossible to have an internet presence and never make a total ass of yourself once in a while– I have a thousand little judgment lapses a day– and it’s even more likely that you’re going to screw up when you’re still a kid. On the other hand, accusations like Sagehorn’s can ruin a teacher’s entire career. Since it seems apparent that he was completely joking and that his teacher didn’t treat him in an inappropriate way, she’s the victim in this situation. I agree that Sagehorn needs to be punished, even though he comes across as sweet and genuinely repentant. It’s important that other students realize that their teachers are real people, and that the things they say about those teachers can have real impact.

According to the NY Daily News,

Last week, police said they were investigating whether the teen could be hit with a felony charge of defamation– but concluded that no crime was committed. Attorneys representing the teen said police and school overreacted to the teen’s comments.

Yikes. I’m glad that people are taking an accusation like this seriously, because it’s BS that people assume women can never be abusers, and it’s even bigger BS that people ignore sexual abuse when it happens to teenage boys. But, since it doesn’t look like any abuse took place, I hope Sagehorn’s whole life isn’t ruined because of one immature tweet, and I hope this teacher’s whole life isn’t ruined by dumb rumors.

Via Daily News / Photo: Dawson’s Creek, Sony Pictures

Share This Post:
    • Lindsey Conklin

      Man, twitter is really becoming the source of so many scandals: THINK BEFORE YOU TWEET PEOPLE! slash this kind of reminds me when Cady Herron called Miss Norbury a drug pusher…

      • Alexandra

        OMG this is exactly what came to my mind! “After the accusations about Coach Carr turned out to be disturbingly true…” LOL love that movie!

      • Amber Starr

        I WANT MY PINK SHIRT BACK!!

        Ok, I’m done :)

      • Brainspace

        Nope. It’s Wednesday, so I’m wearing it.

    • elle

      I like how big of a deal they make that “he has a 3.8 gap!” He’s “captain of the basketball team” ridiculous, acting like those are reasons he shouldn’t be punished-this is something that could ruin the teachers career/life. It absolutely deserves strong punishment. If the school ignored it they would basically be saying they don’t care about a teacher sexually harassing/abusing a student. I agree with @lindseyconklin:disqus – think before you tweet!

      • Brainspace

        And even though it’s evident she was innocent, because her name was in the news, she WILL find it hard to find another job. Although they won’t openly admit it, BOEs will not want to deal with someone who’s been cast in such a negative light. SO while she won’t lose this job, if she ever wants to leave, she probably will have a tough time finding something else and not being side-eyed.

      • elle

        Yep exactly. She’s exonerated but probably will always suffer because of this. And to make it worse I was so enraged that I read more articles and according to some reports the teacher is being harassed and blamed for this whole thing by students. Just ugh.

    • Katie

      Just another reason I’m terrified to have children with access to the internet.

    • Aldonza

      Honestly? I’m glad they are taking this seriously. I’ve seen it on both sides: teachers abusing their power and preying on students, and yes, students making false accusations and ruining teacher’s reputations. It doesn’t always matter when a situation turns out to be false, it’s still out there an can ruin a teacher’s career.

    • Kelly

      I hope he understands that he isn’t being punished for being sarcastic on the Internet, he’s being punished for making a false accusation that could ruin someone’s life.

      If his parents are worth anything, they’ll sit his ass down and explain it until he gets it.

    • MERKIN

      I’m sorry, but I do NOT feel sorry for this kid. Yes, you made a dumb mistake. Yes, you did it on social media (the content of which will follow you around for a very, very long time.) Yes, you’re a teenager. But this is absolutely an appropriate punishment for the crime. This kid did something that could ruin someone’s life. He did so on social media. He needs to know that you can’t just say whatever you want on social media–this is a good lesson to learn now, rather than later in life.

      Also, I am not a big fan of the title of this article. “At least this dumb kid’s lie about his teacher is making people discuss sexual abuse?” To call him a “dumb kid” lessens the gravity of his actions– which is making a false allegation of sexual abuse. To even put an “at least” in there seems like an attempt to give this some kind of “silver lining.” No. Just no.

      • Brainspace

        I wish I could like this ten more times.

    • brebay

      Sarcasm font. seriously.