Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Never Okay...

... to date your students. Ever. I don't care if they are 18 years old, you're still their teacher and that's still not okay. If you reconnect years after graduation, I guess that's okay depending on your circumstances. However, dating a current student is never, ever a good idea. What makes me bring this up? Some local teacher was caught half-naked in a car with a 17 year old student from her school.

Ex-Manual teacher Carrie Shafer could face sex-related charge

Regardless of the legality of the issue, as the boy was over the age of consent for our state, it's still not okay to date someone who is subordinate to you. Ever.

When people find out that I'm a teacher, I'm frequently asked if I've ever been attracted to a student. I get it. I'm a young (ish) teacher in a high school. If Van Halen is anything to go by, apparently being "hot for teacher" is some kind of male thing. If I can go by the comments on the linked article are anything to go by, apparently female teacher and male student isn't "as bad" as the other way around. Still, it's not something I've ever considered.

I could never be attracted to my students. Why? Because they are my students and that's exactly how I see them. That's to say nothing of the fact that they are minors ranging from age fourteen to sixteen. What do twenty six year olds and sixteen year olds have in common? Aside from driving, not a whole lot. And I'm much better at the driving thing.

Do you remember how embarrassing you were in high school? Everything was oh so dramatic and over the top. Every love was your first and every heartache was the worst any human has ever experienced in the history of the world. Now you're surrounded by one hundred of those. How attractive is that going to look? I don't care if the kid is Young Brad Pitt, there's nothing, and I mean nothing that could make me take a second look. It's just... gross.

So no. I have never been attracted to a student. I never will be attracted to a student. Abusing your place of power to take advantage of teenagers is wrong and not one of the reasons to become a teacher. Despite hanging around with teenagers all day, you need to be able to not be a teenager yourself. You're their to teach, not be their friend. I don't know what led this teacher to seek a relationship with her student, but I know it won't be me. I wonder if there's an audit standard about inappropriate relationships with students.

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