Teachers Caught in the Act: Jason

Sex Ed?

"People presume to think that this is every male student's dream to have sex with their teacher.

What they don't know is the heartbreak," says 19-year-old Jason. He says that when he was 15, a sophomore in high school, he had sex with his gym teacher. "Ms. Tapp told me that she loved me."

 

"Traci Tapp is a sexual predator. She preyed on my son," says Tina, Jason's mom. "She crippled my son. She stole something from him that he can never, ever get back."

 

"The first time I ever really talked to her she said, ‘What's your name?' I said, ‘Jason Eickmyer,' and she said, ‘So the rum

ors are true.' I asked her what rumor she was talking about. She said she heard I was pretty cute," Jason recalls. "We both knew that we were pretty much interested in each other. She said she couldn't give me her phone number, but there was something called 411. I called her and we talked for an hour ... I joked around with her before about going over to her house. She said, ‘OK.'" 

 

Tina says that Ms. Ta

pp conned Jason. "In Jason's mind, Ms. Tapp was in love with him," she says. "They even talked about having children together."

 

Jason says that he and Ms. Tapp made a pact to continue their relationship. "When I turned 18 and I graduated, we were going to be together," he says. "She would always call me her little boyfriend."

"Jason was a five-time state champion. He loved to wrestle, play football. He was a great kid," says Tina. But midway through his sophomore year, things changed. "I

couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. Jason lost interest in everything ... Jason is not the same person he used to be. He is angry. He has no goals. He doesn't have a job. He doesn't trust anyone. He's always looking for that older woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. He's still in love with her."

 

Jason explains the change in attitude. "I found out that she was having sex with another student. Here I am being faithful, doing everything she wanted me to do," he says. "When I found out about one specific guy, it was just heart wrenching."

 

"Ms. Tapp had been living with a former student prior to her affair with Jason, and there were two other students preyed upon by her," Tina claims. "She was arrested and she plea-bargained her way out of it. She said the affair never happened between her and Jason." Ms. Tapp received a $225 fine and lost her license to teach. "Her punishment was equivalent to a slap on the wrist. If this had been a man who had done these things, he would have been in jail right away."

"You asked your mom to keep it secret," Dr. Phil says to Jason.


Jason agrees.

"Did you?" Dr. Phil asks Tina.

"I did for a while," she replies. "When you're a teacher, you're in a position of power. You have the power over the child. They're children. They don't know at 15 that this is wrong, that, 'Maybe I shouldn't sleep with my teacher, maybe this shouldn't be going on,'" she says. "Teachers should realize what they're doing to these kids."

"Were you in love with her?" Dr. Phil asks Jason.

"Yes," Jason says, claiming that he had sex with her three times that on
e night.

"When you went back to your life the next day, the next week, were you changed?"

"I kept the secret for a while," Jason says. "After everybody did start finding out, within the teaching staff and especially with my friends, it definitely was a dramatic change."

Dr. Phil says that Ms. Tapp was contacted by the show, and she sent a statement:

 

Dear Dr. Phil,

 

It is with regret that I was unable to attend your show. As per my lawyer's advice, this would not be in my best interest due to a pending lawsuit that Jason and his mother have filed.

 

I would like to be there to tell my side of the story, something that I have not done thus far. I can tell you, however, that I am innocent of all of the allegations that Mr. Eickmyer accused me of. Not at any time, did Mr. Eickmyer and myself have any sexual relations and/or sexual contact. I would like the public to know that my case was brought before a Grand Jury and it was no-billed. I was never indicted.

 

I often second guess my decision not to fight these allegations in a court of law. Many people have said to me, "You are innocent, you have to fight this!" And, of course, in my heart, I know I am innocent, but I was unwilling to take a chance of a jury of my peers believing the story that Mr. Eickmyer would have presented in court. My lawyer had also explained to me that it was like playing Russian Roulette with my life, 80% chance of winning, 20% chance of not. This, compiled with the fact that the public may have simply assumed that I was guilty due to the popularity of teacher/student relationships today, I chose not to fight the allegations. My family and friends are too important for me to take that risk.

 

As of now, I am trying to move on from this. I am searching for a career, although despite my innocence and lack of indictment, it is difficult. I put in four years of my life to fill my dreams of being a teacher and a coach, which was taken away. For this reason I still have not yet moved on.

 

I would like the people in my life whom truly know me and have never doubted my innocence to know that their support has gotten me through this nightmare. We are all still trying to put it past us.

Sincerely,
Traci Tapp
 

"Do you still have romantic feelings for this woman?" Dr. Phil asks.

 

"It's hard to distinguish the difference between what I feel now and everything like that. Do I still somewhat feel things for her? Yes, at times. I'll feel like I hate her one minute, and the next minute I'll say, 'OK, I'll drop everything,'" he explains. "The biggest problem is I haven't had any closure. I haven't seen her since March 16th of my senior year. It's just hard."

"What do you say about her statement here?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I think it's ridiculous," he says. "Obviously she's going to deny it because she d

oesn't want any jail time. She doesn't think she's a sexual predator and everything like that. But the facts are we did. We did engage in sexual activity, and you know, I was over her house."

"You understand, regardless of what happens with the lawsuit that's filed, regardless of what happens with the sense that there's not justice that takes place, that you are young, and you've got your whole life stretched out ahead of you, and at some point you're going to have to say, ‘I've got to close the book on this and move on,'" Dr. Phil tells Jason. "You've got to decide, ‘I am the same person that I was before this happened. I've got to find some goals. I've got to find some opportunities. I've got to get passionate and excited about something in my life again.' You can't let this just continue to push your life off in a ditch."

"Pretty much every goal I have and everything I seem to do, especially within the town, is looked down upon, and there are so many other obstacles in the way because of this," Jason says.

"That may be a problem for a while, but I'm telling you, you've got to just keep putting one foot in front of the other," Dr. Phil says. "The world moves on and you have to move on with it." Dr. Phil tells Jason he will give him a copy of Self Matters. "You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and this too shall pass," he says. "You've got a lot to offer. Don't give your power away to somebody like that."