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Forbidden Love 

Naughty teachers and the students they love

All across Northeast Ohio this week and next, bells will be ringing for a fresh, bright, promising school year — new notebooks and pencils and shiny red apples.

And a new batch of prospective victims for teachers.

It will happen. While some student sets his/her sights on the blackboard to catch a first glimpse of the year's material, some teacher will set his/her gaze upon the classroom and catch a first glimpse of someone who piques their interest more than he/she should. Casual glances will turn to furtive nods, innocent conversations will turn illicit, numbers will be exchanged, inappropriate messages will be sent.

We can blame it all on the Greeks, who invented damn near everything untoward. But whatever fleshcapades occurred in the hallowed halls of Athens pale in comparison to what's happening in Cleveland-area schools. This region has been cursed with a preponderance of scandals in recent years, boasting a per-capita incidence rate that would appall even the Catholic Church.

While Mayor Frank Jackson and Governor John Kasich high-five each other over their bromance and imminent reform of Cleveland schools, the specter of teacher sex scandals looms. If that sounds like some 19 Action News hysteria, it should! Of course, 99.999% of teachers aren't going to try to bang your kids, though an unspecified percentage might want to. But it happens every year — the bad apple, if you will. And more often than not, quite a few times a year. And it never ends well.

So as a back-to-school public service, we've compiled the worst of the worst, the most salacious of the salacious, as a reminder that when teacher wants Johnny or Jennifer to stay after school, it might not be for what you think.

In keeping with the academic theme, we've carefully calibrated and weighed their offenses, and ranked them according to their depravity.

From the lonely hearts club to chronic stalkers of innocent, vulnerable youth, here they are, for your edification — and warning.

THE MATH

To properly rank the miscreants who've nibbled on a banana or cherry from the wrong lunchbox in Northeast Ohio schools is no small task, and one we did not take lightly. We consulted with NASA scientists, Case Western Reserve University mathematicians, actors who play criminologists on TV, lawyers of some repute, escorts from our back pages, and the guy who serves coffee in the lobby to craft an exact equation.

The result is part hard data, part gut instinct, and 100 percent real, spliced together from expert input to put these perverts in their place. Because what good is all of this without putting them in order, right?

The formula:

{[(Age Differential x Number of Students) x Sordid Details] + Summary and Sentencing} / Mitigating Circumstances

Let's break down the components:

Number of Students: Self-explanatory. Was this a one-time incident with the could-be love of the teacher's life, or are we talking about the next Mary Kay Letourneau? Is this an otherwise upstanding citizen, or someone who treated the school halls like a personal Match.com? (1 or more)

Age Differential: The more years between the ages of the offender and the victim, the worse this all becomes. If a fresh-faced college grad finds an 18-year-old senior attractive, that's a whole different textbook than a middle-age adult coming on to a 16-year-old sophomore. If the pair could be siblings, we're talking Teacher Sex Scandal 101. If one could be the other's parent, we're in graduate-level courses. (Teacher's age – Student's age)

Sordid Details: Extra points for drugs, alcohol, sex toys, multiple partners at the same time, hot tubs, sexts, and tawdry tryst sites. (1-10)

Summary and Sentencing: Did the teacher go to jail? Did he or she plead guilty? Did the parents write letters on the teacher's behalf? From a long view, just how bad was their judgment and lack of morals? (1-10)

Mitigating Factors: Was the student at least of legal age? Was the teacher single, or only a substitute? Did God tell them to do this? Were those condoms about to expire? (1-10)

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