As a Dad raising children, we never really think about this topic, or at least we don’t want to think about it. Some of us may even be in denial about it, but not addressing the issue will only make things worse. The issue of teachers and students having sex with each other has been more of a reality than we would like to admit. Now that inappropriate teacher-student relationships are on the rise parents are growing more concerned. When searching for answers we ask where does this problem stem from? We also look for someone to blame, who’s fault is it? Is the teacher or student to blame?
Today, there are incidents where students are extorting teachers for money and more sex. They are leveraging laws and social norms to force teachers to remain involved under the consequence of making the relationship public. Some may argue that male adolescent students have always fantasized about teachers because of hormones and sexual development. However teenage boys seem to be turning those fantasies into realities. Is this because of peer pressure or social media influences? Are students seeing sexually charged or explicit content on adult sites? Are these students wanting to become “Insta-Famous” and looking for the notoriety and brief media attention that comes from these types of situations?
We all know that the internet has made the accessibility of pornography as easy as finding DIY sites. A simple moment of nostalgia will quickly remind us that not much has changed in teenage life. Students still talk about the attractiveness of teachers, about the only thing that has changed is the mobile device they choose to communicate this information.
Why is this Going On?
Do teachers spend too much time with students? Is it possible thats students are misperceiving the time and attention a teacher is giving them as suggestive behavior? We all want our children to learn, it is the purpose of school, but where and when do we draw the line? What do we consider too much? Teachers hold the power as the authority figure in a classroom. We rely on the teacher to teach our children and maintain a professional line in the sand. Do teachers have emotional baggage that makes them more vulnerable to misguided male teens? Dr. Robert J. Shoop, Professor of Education Law and Senior Scholar in the Leadership Studies Program at Kansas State University, talks about boundaries and inappropriate behavior in his book “Sexual Exploitation in Schools: How to Spot it and Stop It.” You can find the book here: Sexual Exploitation in Schools: How to Spot It and Stop It
What should we consider normal forms of communication for our children? Do we allow our kids to have access with teachers via smartphone or social media?
In the end, we know for the most part that children look up to teenagers. Teenagers look to adults to see how to become adults. While we may not have all the answers, it seems clear that as the adult, parents need to be more involved with their children. They need to ask questions and see what their children are doing. We all know that parents are not able to monitor their children 24/7; however, hindsight tells us that parents that are involved early and often mitigate many of these situations that occur.