Last week, a very beautiful 26 year old science teacher maned Stephanie Peterson Ferri in New Smyrna Beach, Florida was arrested for having sex with a 14 year old male student. I don’t want to vilify or ridicule this young teacher like some news services and viewers seem to be doing. I would like to try to explain and understand why she might have done this.
Stephanie became married to a firefighter in 2015. From what I read, it appears that he was on duty at a fire station in DeLand, Florida, 30 miles to the west of New Smyrna Beach, when his wife was having sex with this student at her home, usually between the hours of 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Two weeks prior to her arrest, she had filed for divorce from her husband.
As young and attractive as Stephanie is, on any night of the week she could have driven to Daytona Beach, twenty miles to the north of New Smyrna Beach, and met a man at a gym, bar, nightclub, shopping center, the beach, or at an event. However, here are some reasons why I think that she didn’t do this:
- It is risky and uncomfortable meeting a stranger for the purpose of having sex. She would not have known if a strange man would have been physically abusive with her, psychologically abusive with her, whether he had any type of disease such as hepatitis, lyme disease, tuberculosis, herpes, HIV, syphilis, etcetera.
- She might have only wanted a brief sexual relationship, and feared that some men would have wanted more, to telephone her, to try to show up at her home, to try to show up at the school where she worked, to try to force her to have more contact and involvement with them.
- She might have believed that any kind of relationship that she had with a man, would have resulted in criticisms, questions, advice, counsel, and demands that she did not want. Men do tend to be domineering.
- The sex that she had been having with men was unpleasant to her. Maybe they always wanted her to do something that she didn’t want to do. Maybe they never did what she waned them to do. Maybe the men that she was with were done too quickly, lacked enthusiasm, and had no interest in pleasing her, only in satisfying themselves.
There may be others reasons that I did not include in my list above, why Stephanie did not seek out men who were her own age. Below are a list of possible reasons why Stephanie had sex with one of her male students who was only 14:
- Having had him in her class, she might have become comfortable with him and at ease with him. She might have had no fear that he was physically abusive, psychologically abusive, cruel, insensitive, mocking, or mentally and physically unhealthy in any way.
- She probably did begin to fantasize about him, in the way that she wanted things to be with him. To have a romantic relationship with someone who would not be judgmental, critical, questioning, demanding, or manipulative.
- She might have felt safe, that she could be in charge, she could set the rules, she could tell him how things were going to be, she could decide everything that happened.
- She might have believed that his enthusiasm, eagerness, and desire to have sex would be greater than with men her own age. She might have believed that she could teach him how to do things the way she wanted, and that he would be more likely to do what she wanted.
All of the reasons that I just gave up above of why she did not want to have sex with men her own age, and she did want to have sex with one of her 14 year old male students, are logical and normal, in my opinion. It is too bad that in this time, in this country right now, that this is illegal.
In the United States, in any area of the country prior to 1970, there are a number of different things that could have happened in this situation:
- If this would have happened at a private boarding school for boys, and the teacher would have been as attractive as Stephanie, the father of the boy would have either been pleased or seen very little harm in it. The father might have even encouraged this relationship to continue, thinking that this was a very good and fortunate experience for his son to have with a knowledgeable and experienced older woman. His wife may have had no say in the matter, and been persuaded by her husband’s logic.
- If this would have happened at a very poor school, such as in Appalachia, the parents might not have seen either good or harm in it, only as something that happens in life. They might have insisted that their son marry her.
- If this would have happened at a frontier town in the west, it would have been the same as in Appalachia, the parents might not have seen either good or harm in it, only as something that happens in life.
- In many average towns across the U.S., if the parents found out about something like this, and the fathers saw how good looking this teacher was, all they would be concerned about was trying to convince this teacher to give them a chance too.
- The only time anywhere in the U.S. that I think that parents would have been outraged, would be when the father or mother thought that their son was being sidetracked from much better things, such as an academic scholarship, athletic scholarship, a relationship with a much more suitable girl, or being “trapped” by a pregnancy.
I don’t think that this 14 year old boy was harmed from this sexual relationship. I think that a skateboarding accident or a bicycle accident would probably be more traumatic at this age, meaning, not very traumatic. There is the chance that the media, police, prosecuting attorney’s office, and psychiatrists could make this a traumatizing, confusing, embarrassing, and regrettable situation for him that will take a long time to get over.
The only thing wrong with what Stephanie did, was put both herself and this young man in the situation where if anyone ever found out, it was going to turn into something very destructive because of other people’s interference.
I wholeheartedly believe, that most men, no matter who they are or whatever their age may be, looking at the photograph of Stephanie wearing her bikini, they would love for the chance to be with her.
One of the reasons why stories like this gain so much attention, everyone has to talk about it, and the woman is vilified, is because people are jealous. Women are jealous and hateful because the young teacher is so good looking. Men are jealous because they want to be with a woman like this. I will admit that I am somewhat confused, and jealous.
Dickinson, North Dakota has a teacher shortage right now. If the people in Florida want to punish Stephanie, and send her away somewhere, Dickinson would be the perfect place to send her.