The Ministry of Public Education (MEP) started an investigation against a 40-year-old teacher from the Department of Special Education of the Professional Technical College San Isidro in Pérez Zeledón. The teacher married one of his students, who is just 15 years old. The marriage was held on July 4th, during the 15-day vacation.
Minister of Education, Sonia Marta Mora, confirmed that they didn’t know about the case, but she added that the investigation has started and they will determine whether this is an improper relationship.
If so, both the educator and his superiors who knew about the situation will be sanctioned.
Mora stressed that in a teacher-student relationship, the adult has power over the minor, he must take good care of the suitability and responsibility that he has before the minor.
The minister said they have to wait for the results of the investigation, which could last 4 weeks but the first data urge authorities to do very careful investigation to see if it is an improper relation.
In Costa Rica such unions are not illegal, as long as they have the minor’s parents’ approval. However, there is currently a bill that intends to prohibit and punish these relationships.
The bill is being discussed in the Legislature and it provides prison sentences to those involved in an adult-minor relationship by reforming several articles of the Criminal Code, the Family Code, the Civil Code, the Organic Law of the Supreme Court of Elections and Civil Registry.
Elizabeth Ballestero, psychologist and Technical Manager of the National Child Welfare Agency (PANI), declared that a 15-year-old person do not know what they want in life (…) between a 15-year-old child and 40-year-old adult there are great differences.
According to Ballestero, from a psycho-sexual and comprehensive point of view, that should not be allowed in Costa Rica because it has been proven that people may have an idea of what they want in life just we they are 25 years old.