Sweet or Stupid? Coach Takes Student to the Prom (and Gets Fired)

Is Bowerman sweet or just plain stupid? Or both?

The title of this post doesn’t reveal the gender of the coach or student. Does that make a difference to you? Read on and let’s find out, shall we?

Melissa Bowerman is obviously no Mary Kay Latourneou.

She’s a 41-year-old track coach at a small high school in Oregon. So is her husband, Jon.

Bowerman felt bad for a 17-year-old who didn’t have a date so, after talking it over with her husband, she decided to take the boy to prom on the condition they talked about his poor scores in English.

As Jezebel reports, Bowerman told the AP,

If they go on (academic) probation and suspension, then they can’t go to the track meets. I said, “OK, I will go with you, but we’ve got to talk about English first. You’re going to do better in English.”

The boy’s father even let him go with his coach saying she has been like a “surrogate mom” to the kids. After a chaperone noticed the unlikely pair at prom and reported it to police, Bowerman was fired even though an investigation shows no laws were broken.

Bowerman admits she made an “error in judgment” but maintains nothing inappropriate is is going on between her and the boy. They apparently “danced to a few slow songs but mostly played ping pong and foosball”.

Her husband is outraged and says he might leave his volunteer position as well and maybe even move away. According to him, “The only thing we’ve done wrong is build them a new track and get uniforms and build them a powerhouse program.”

Is that really the only thing Melissa Bowerman did wrong? Are we creeps for sexualizing a scenario that should be sweet? Should she have lost her position as coach? If the kid was a special needs student would that change your mind? Also, does your opinion on the matter change if I tell you the 41-year-old is married to a 73-year-old? Yeah, at the last minute I noticed Jon Bowerman is 73. Not that age matters when everyone is a consenting adult but still. Does that change your opinion about Melissa Bowerman?

And seriously, underneath all the obvious questions I can’t help wonder what kind of 17-year-old wants to go to prom with his teacher? Unless she’s the “hot teacher” that all the boys dig and then, well, yeah, that is a sexual situation, right? Would you let your son go to school with his female teacher? Or hey, would you let your 17-year-old daughter go to school with her male teacher?  Absolutely not, right?


You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.

Read more from Monica on Strollerderby:

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