Saturday, April 07, 2012

Frank Talk about Sex between Teachers and Students

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," turning to the tricky subject of teacher/student relations of a carnal nature. This will be one of our series of frank talks, so if you're a stripling, go play in the sunshine.

Like it or not (and most kids don't like it even a little bit), teachers are authority figures. Let's see if we can rank teachers in the hierarchy of authority figures:

EXHIBIT A: AUTHORITY FIGURES IN A YOUNG PERSON'S LIFE

1. Parents
2. Law enforcement
3. Pastors
4. Teachers

If a kid doesn't get much notice from #1 above, he or she may or may not wind up tangling with #2 or #3 above. But regardless of whether or not parents care, kids absolutely must deal with teachers. They can avoid cops or preachers, but not teachers.

This is a very, very slippery slope for both student and educator, especially young educators who are only a handful of years older than some of their charges. We hear all the time of newly-minted teachers being respectable and then marrying a student who they have taught for a year or two.

We also hear of teachers of both genders who do the deed with their students.

Go into any high school anywhere and look around. The students there are at a beautiful age. They look great. The boys are handsome, and the girls are pretty. It's very easy for a teacher (who, after all, has the authority) to compliment, charm, and seduce a student. Very often when these relationships are uncovered, the relationship is considered to be consensual. In other words, the student is loving it as much as the teacher.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" don't necessarily discourage sexual relationships between older men/women and younger men/women. It's just the teacher thing that's problematic.

Teachers who become overly romantic with their students are taking advantage of:

1. Their authority over a largish population of people
2. The pool of beautiful youngsters at their disposal
3. The need for young people to attract adult attention, and
4. The many nooks and crannies in every school where trysts can at least be verbally arranged, if not out-and-out consummated.

I'm a school teacher, and let me tell you, even the most rebellious kid on campus, even the senior about to walk out the high school door, yes, even that senior, has a little bit of fear of teachers. Even the students who love you to death and bring you cookies at Christmas still have a sense that you have control. Therefore, as a teacher you should never:

1. Over-exert that control by being authoritarian, manipulative, or favoritism-prone,
2. Under-exert that control by chillin with your pupil-peeps, even to the degree of off-campus friendship,
3. Get romantic with someone whose essay you'll have to grade on the weekend.

The teachers at Snobville High School have their students as Facebook friends. They go on lunch dates and travel together. They talk on the phone at night.

BAMP! Wrong.

Teaching is a profession. Teachers should be professionals. Would you think of friending your dermatologist who you only see for your pimple medicine, or your accountant who does your taxes?

Teaching is a profession. Students are clients. They are sweet, needy clients, but clients nevertheless. A true professional knows there's a line, knows not to cross it, and knows in his/her heart of hearts that when it is crossed, it's wrong.

Guys, you want a young, peppy girlfriend? Go to Wet T-Shirt Nite at the sports bar and fling around some bling. Girls, you want a solid, dependable older guy? Good luck with that. Most of them are married. Which is a whole separate kettle of frank-talk fish.

Teacher, leave those kids alone.

9 comments:

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I'd like to think teachers have a moral core..but that's not always the case.

Fred. said...

Sometimes I wish I was Frank, he get to know all the exciting things in life.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, agreed on all points! Especially the friends with students on Facebook. No, no, and NO.

And definitely agree on the not playing favorite and manipulating students. Had a college professor like that-- a wretched experience.

Aquila ka Hecate said...

Pupil-teacher sex happens a lot in this country. It's another entitlement privilege from a bunch of teachers who are not, on the whole, very professional at all.
Love,
Terri in Joburg

Anonymous said...

I'm really glad I missed that part of life -- if it was going on in my high school, I was unaware of it.
--Kim

ladyimbrium said...

It went on at my high school, I think it goes on at most high schools. It almost certainly goes on in colleges, although that concerns me less.

Yes, if they don't get the attention from number one, they'll get it from the second group on that list. Trust me. Not that there isn't some of the same social-hierarchy abuse going on there too.

Really I think that anywhere you have a discrepancy in power there is potential for, lets say generically, problems.

And LOL at the last bit. Yes, all the good ones seem to be taken. If you're lucky you either find one that isn't or you find a someone who will share. (I happen to feel that sharing is ok, but sneaking around is not. make sense? No? Oh well. Makes sense to me.)

Andrew B. Watt said...

I think it's very difficult for teachers to talk about sex with students in a responsible way. It's important that the students hear, "sex is fun, you can do lots of things in a loving way, be responsible about it," etc., but it's also very difficult to avoid the problems that come with that more-rational stance than, "my god, you're under 18, don't have sex!"

I've been teaching for fifteen years, and I don't personally know any teachers who've been caught having sex with students. I do know some teachers who've caught students having sex in the nooks and crannies of their school, and THAT's caused almost as many problems for the teachers as for the students themselves.

Lori F - MN said...

I remember having a crush on a young teacher while in middle school. He was young and hot and he knew it. I would guess he was in his 20's. when he got a job at a music store, I haunted him there. LOL guess I outgrew him. Thanks for reminding me of a first crush.

accounting said...

Totally agree with you!