A 35-year-old Oklahoma teacher is now formerly a teacher after applying to get a marriage license so she could wed a 16-year-old student, Oklahoma station Newson6 is reporting. (Note: Some sources list the teacher’s age as 34.)
Cassandra White had been an English teacher at Davis High School in Davis, a town of about 2,000 people, about halfway between Oklahoma City and Dallas. That is, until last week. That’s when she and a 16-year-old boy showed up at the county courthouse to apply for a marriage license.
In Oklahoma, you have to be 18 to apply for a marriage license on your own, according to FindLaw. However, exceptions can be made for teenagers in certain circumstances, and teens as young as 16 can get married with the written consent of a parent or guardian.
That’s exactly what William Mann, the boy’s father, did. He says that he was at first reluctant to sign the permission for his son to marry. But, he said, the boy is pushing 17 and is becoming old enough to make his own decisions about these things, so he signed off on the marriage.
“I weighed out the ups and downs of it and I thought, ‘Who am I?'” So, he asked me to do something. I did it.”
Officials in the Davis School District, however, were even less enthusiastic about the marriage. According to the New York Post, Davis has been fired, although Newson6 reports that she quit her job. Regardless, in a statement made available to the Post, the district is clear that Davis is no longer in the district’s employ.
“The teacher in question is no longer employed by Davis Schools.”
So has a crime been committed here? As of this writing, it’s unclear. Teenagers as young as 16 can legally consent to sex in Oklahoma — in most cases, that is. There are exceptions, one of them being that a teacher cannot have sex with a student in the school system where they work.
Mann claims that his son and White never had sex, although police are currently investigating that claim, and criminal charges may be forthcoming.
White, for her part, stands to lose more than just her job. Mann says White is a single mother and that she may lose custody of her three children if she’s arrested. He doesn’t want that.
“Nope. I don’t want that. Not at all. Nope. I don’t want it. Not at all.”
If, however, evidence emerges that she and the boy did have sex with each other while she was still a teacher, she could be facing charges of second-degree rape.