leah shipman
Leah Shipman
You know how they say there are (at least) two sides to every story? There are at least three sides to this story, and not a single one makes any sense to me: 42-year-old former teacher Leah Shipman married her 17-year-old former student Johnnie Ison, whom she began "dating" when he was only 15 -- and the boy's mother signed documents allowing the marriage to take place even though her son is still a minor. As a result of the wedding, Shipman -- who'd been charged with two counts of sexual acts by a teacher, two counts of indecent liberties with a child, and one count of statutory rape -- ended up NOT having to stand trial (as her husband, apparently, Ison can't be forced to testify).

Like I said, not one side of this story makes sense. Johnnie Ison's story makes me sad (to think of the profound psychological damage this kid must have!). Leah Shipman's story makes me sick (to think of how twisted this teacher must be!). Then there's Johnnie Ison's mother.

Her story makes me ... confused? Furious? Disgusted? All of the above, and more. As a mom, I just can't get past trying to understand WHY any mother would allow her 17-year-old son to marry his 42-year-old teacher (after two years of statutory rape!). What?! It's not even like the kid eloped or ran away with a much older woman and or something and there was nothing the mom could do to stop him -- she physically signed legal documents allowing them to get married.

Either she actually buys into whatever "true love" argument her son and his new missus have been selling or she for some reason is willing to give up "custody," so to speak, to a very different type of legal guardian or ... I just don't even know what. But I'm afraid nothing about this story makes sense to me because there's simply no sense to be made.

Why do you think any mom would legally allow her 17-year-old son to marry his 42-year-old former teacher?

 

Image via Brunswich County Sheriff's Office