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JEONG | The Limits of Loyalty

A few weeks ago, it was reported in the San Jose Mercury News that my high school music director was arrested for soliciting sexually explicit pictures from a student. This teacher meant the world to me in high school. Just as accomplished athletes celebrate their early coaches as formative mentors, I looked up to him as father figure of sorts, as did dozens of other students throughout his 14 years as an educator. As one friend put it, his classes were “some real ‘Dead Poets Society’ shit.” And as trite as it is to attach that reference to high school teachers that cared about their students, he was the type of teacher that made the laborious high school visit over winter break worth it because that kind of debt lasts a lifetime. Initial reactions ranged from disbelief to denial, but after scouring through every Bay Area publication and Twitter post online, it was pretty hard to doubt or defend against any accusation.