Dealing with a student who may have crush

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by hshistoryteacher, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2020

    I think my gay student has a crush on me. He is 14 and in 10th grade, very feminine and flamboyant (likes to do dance moves in class). This is at an international school in Asia. I am straight, masculine, not into teen boys. He is also the smartest student who is great at English and all subjects. I can't control him because he manages to get under my skin. He always wants to be in my room and when I come back from lunch he's in there. Any time I pay him the slightest attention he'll take that as if I like him and it drives me crazy. I have other students to manage who need my attention but he wants it all for himself. Any advice for this please?
     
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  3. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Devotee

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    Lock your door when you leave for lunch. Don't let him in if it is not class time. Say something like you have work to be done.
    I'd find admin or a counselor I trusted at school and fill them in on what he is doing/ has done exactly. They might be able to switch him to another class, arrange for the 3 of you to have a heart to heart meeting, or at least be witness to what is going on.
    Make sure you are never alone w/ the student either. I know a male teacher at our school who had gossip and allegations fly against him when a teen girl had a crush on him. I don't know for positive if things that have been said are true or not because he doesn't seem like the type, but a couple of his accusers are people that I have never known to lie and don't see what they'd benefit by lying.
    By never being alone w/ this student, I think you could avoid a lot of problems.
    Good luck to you! Any form of sexual harassment is wrong. Since this kid's actions seem to be really getting on your nerves, he needs to know it is not appropriate. I don't think a lot of people understand the problems of men who are being harassed. Women often have experience w/ it.
    I never thought of it w/ men much until my son told me about why he had quit a job many yrs ago. It turned out his MUCH older female boss was a freaking weirdo. She couldn't keep her hands to herself and the final straw was when she cornered and kissed him. He was so grossed out, he quit right then. I wish he'd have said something at the time because he seriously should not have been the 1 who gave up their job. He was really embarrassed by it though and never mentioned it until yrs later.
    So the kid needs to be confronted w/ witnesses and made aware that you are not comfortable w/ the things he has been doing. Get him out of your class if you can.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I agree with everything Tired Teacher has said. Also be sure to fill in admin.
     
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  5. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    Thanks for sharing that story about your son. I think you’re right about not being alone with him... luckily being in Asia the fear of being fired for sexual harassment is lessened and the culture is not me too here.

    I do need to talk to the principal but he is gay and the two of them have a sort of bond... I’ve seem them both in my room talking. Dealing with this situation is my nightmare... I hate this awkward stuff but I need to do something because the feeling is so uncomfortable. I think the worst thing is how it undermines me in the class. I will ask for a key to my room.
     
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  6. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Devotee

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    YW about sharing the story of my son. He'd kill me if he knew I ever brought it up, but being anonymous has its privileges. :) I do understand too how it feels to be "put in awkward positions" w/ a boss. I don't know why it causes embarrassment, but it does. Maybe a feeling of powerlessness until you get it solved.
    Dealing with the situation does sound like a nightmare. You could focus solely on what he does to undermine you in class and break all contact w/ the kid outside of class.That is a bummer he has a bond w/ the principal. Maybe though, just maybe, the P might be able to get him to quit undermining you and things will get better. Wishing you the best!
     
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  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 19, 2020

    My understanding is that in Asia, the entire culture is more androgynous, making it common for Westerners to assume that some individuals are gay when that is not their orientation. My nephew was in Asia and he made some similar assumptions about his students only to later be introduced to opposite sex girl or boy friends. The ambiguity drove him nuts. Also, sexuality was fluid, changeable, especially in younger males. Being effeminate is often common, and not always the best indicator of sexuality. Only sharing because he was there for five years, and as a Westerner, it drove him nuts because even after figuring all this out, he was not sure of where he stood with the males. It is cultural, and OP may find that since he knows this "gets under his skin", he might want to find a job in a more familiar culture that is easier to read.
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I feel that I need to add that the gender or the sexual orientation of the student, or of the principal, doesn't matter; the steps that should be taken do not depend on those.
     
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  9. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    What’s your basis for saying this?

    I’ve been in Asia a while and this is not true at all. Vietnam is very conservative. Furthermore he came out to me indirectly in an essay he wrote that I should have passed on because in it he mentioned having emotional problems.

    Some straight young men do act effeminate in Asia but I’m not taking about that.

    I don’t appreciate the patronizing tone. Students should not flirt with teachers.

    One time I asked him to check his name on my computer and he pushed his body into mine. I shouldn’t have to defend myself but this is what it is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  10. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    They seem pertinent in a post on an anonymous forum. My point about the principal being gay is that he may side with the student. That’s all. But I think he gets it and he is usually supportive
     
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  11. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    I think this is about establishing boundaries. My default personality is to be friendly with students and this works well with older kids because they know the deal but this one is 14 and emotionally immature so I should have been more distant from the beginning.
     
  12. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Devotee

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    Most definitely, he should not be bumping into you and flirting w/ the you. My guess is you were trying to be kind to a kid with emotional problems. I think life has gotten too politically correct and some people can be overly sensitive to differences spoken. ( I have a person in my family that I love to pieces, but we both decided years ago not to discuss certain topics because we value our relationship.)
    You mentioned that he wrote a paper telling about his emotional problems. I think writing may be a way to get him on the principal's radar. If you can think of a writing topic that he'd have fun with and probably "give TOO much information", you could copy it and take it with you as evidence.
    Like: You could tell a story about when you or someone outsmarted or overrode authority to the students. Discuss it and have them write about a time(s) they did. Just an idea...
    Knowing him, you could come up with a topic he'd "run with."
    It sounds like your principal is reasonable. I am happy for you about that. Please give updates on how it goes. Wishing you the best!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I simply shared what my nephew shared with me. My tone is not patronizing. I was/am stating that the students got under my nephew's skin because it was a culture he wasn't prepared to second guess at all times, thus him deciding to come home at the end of year five. No where did I state that students should flirt with teachers, so you have pulled that out of your hat. I believe that you have been given good information to follow. Finding a job outside of Asia seems like just one more valid suggestions to consider. FWIW, you only added the "bumping his body into yours" for the first time when responding to my post. And you are right - you should have passed an essay about his emotional problems to your superiors or counseling for further consideration and help.
     
  14. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Devotee

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    I read this post a day before I answered it. I am going to go ahead and admit why I did not answer at 1st, and decided to later. At first, I thought this thread might turn into a total PC argument. Then I considered it was coming from a poster who was maybe using a different account trying to stir things up. ( Very sorry, history guy, but it came into my thoughts because of the low number of posts you had made..)
    After rereading the next day, I thought a lot about sexual harassment and even how it can happen many ways. I have really strong feelings on SH because I was denied a job in my youth because I wouldn't sleep w/ a boss. I never even thought to tell anyone.
    I had a much worse experience w/ it yrs later when a guy had me between a rock and a hard place. It was going to impact my life majorly. I could not tell my husband because he'd have shown up, blown up, started a huge fight, and it would not have solved my problem. It would have made it worse. It was so hard not being able to tell him what was happening at the time.
    Anyways, these kind of situations are somehow embarrassing as well as distressing. Back then, they were very hard to talk about. They still are. I told a friend about it and swore her to secrecy. She told me what to do.
    She gave me the best advice. She told me to tell it to a certain person. I met with the lady and was amazed at how understanding she was, and she was pissed . It turned out he had been allowed to resign from jobs in the past quietly w/letters of recommendation despite having complaints of SH filed against him. She had already had him on her radar as a creep. She told me I'd never see him again. She got what I needed in a round about way too. . I never saw him again either.
    I had a feeling there was more to the story than he was telling because when things like that happen, it is often hard to talk about. The person who is being harassed needs support, not to be encouraged to go elsewhere. The 1 who is harassing needs to be told to leave.
    Oh, and the creep I mentioned was from a totally different culture that has a reputation of treating women like dirt.
    Wow! I thought I had "let it go" yrs ago, but bringing it back up now is still upsetting to me despite the fact that nothing worse happened to me other than threats that could have ruined my life and scared me a lot.
     
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  15. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    Fair enough. They don’t have counseling here or shrinks for that matter. After talking with my gay male friend he thinks the boy is doing a catty thing where he is blocking the other girls from my attention. So the class is just him and other girls. By hogging the attention for himself he is trying to block me from them. Then his flamboyant feminine stuff is like peacocking to grab attention and show dominance. My gay friend says he has seen this behavior at work. So now this makes sense looking back... I realize this isn’t pc to discuss this but I don’t care.

    Regardless his behavior isn’t school appropriate. It doesn’t specifically violate any of our rules though, which makes it hard to discuss.

    Tired teacher, I hadn’t thoughts about it as sexual harassment until you said something, but now I think it is because it puts me in a powerless position and there’s a sense of domination about it.
     
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  16. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    I should point out that if I were a woman and the student in question were a straight boy, your suggestion that I should quit would be taken quite differently. Your suggestion that I’m mistaken regarding the culture would be seen as chauvinistic and victim blaming. I don’t want to start an argument but I wanted to point this out and hope people recognize this.
     
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I’m a male teacher, but I’ve experienced my fair share of this, unfortunately.

    Over the years, I have had many male students do one or more of the following: flick my nipples, ask to neck me (this means to rub your neck into the neck of someone else), joke about sleeping with me on school field trips, hug me whenever they see me, tell me I look nice in jeans for “reasons,” ask me if I have a significant other because they are available, wiggle their eyebrows at me, slap me on the behind with a rolled-up newspaper, call me a cutie, ask if they can rub my feet/shoulders/ears, shout in front of their peers that I’m taking them to the dance, and one really brazen male student humped me from behind.

    Their reason and their own words: I have effeminate features for a male and “look like a very beautiful girl.”

    I honestly don’t know how to make it stop. It’s happened every year since I started working at my current school and only has lessened now because I am an admin now.

    My advice: Handle it professionally and immediately each time it happens. Don’t wait. Document, document, document.

    I would say it gets better, but... yeah.
     
  18. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    Oh my God, I guess I have it good...

    I am a different type maybe, more masculine and bigger... if a boy humped me from behind he would get punished physically haha. You need to stand up to that. It sounds like they don’t respect you... I also don’t feel respected by this boy and that’s what eats me more than anything really. Teachers must be respected to have any authority in the class - and admins too - this is my belief
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Well, I’m 5’, 7.5” (so below average for an American male) and quite skinny, so that wouldn’t exactly work with me since the majority of the male students that do the aforementioned things are athletes (so much stronger than me). One of the students who asked to rub my shoulders said he doesn’t worry because I’m a “pushover” physically. He’s right.

    In my second year under my last principal (thankfully she is gone — principal of the last four years has been WAY better), a bunch of the footballers lined up in the hall and gave me a group hug for an extended period. Try as I might, and try I did, I could not extricate myself despite my best efforts. I actually gave up and asked that they just let go because I was so tired out. They laughed and said it was cute seeing me struggle, but they eventually let go when the bell rang.

    I reported them and they all said it was just a hug and nothing was done as we had an upcoming game and the principal at the time did nothing.

    The odd thing is that all of these students respect me in the classroom and elsewhere. They don’t respect my personal space.

    I hope your situation gets better as mine only marginally has gotten better over the years.
     
  20. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    Man that sounds awful. I think you need to do something about that. If you were a woman they would be suspended or worse... also it’s just very strange
     
  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I don’t think it is taken as seriously because I am male and so it kind of gets brushed under the rug, but nowhere near as much as it did years ago. I think it would get handled if I were female and/or a female student did something.

    When a guy does it to another guy, it is “boys will be boys.” Unless true bullying were to happen, I don’t see much changing, to be honest.

    Now, an incident only happens a few times a year and so I guess that’s an improvement. Of course, I still get innuendo, but I don’t really count that. I’ve just learned to live with it, unfortunately. I think it also helps that I don’t get as riled up as I used to because a number of them like to get a reaction out of me when they do it. The male teenage mind is quite strange and I don’t remember ever thinking like this when I was their age and I’m 27, so not that far off, haha!
     
  22. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I believe that this happened, but it’s mind boggling to me. I’ve never had a student lay a hand on me—even out of control students who are having meltdowns (which I deal with quite often).
    The year I taught middle school (‘10-‘11), I set boundaries right away. I let them know about person space and that I don’t like people in my area, touching my things, etc. I set the tone from day one. Lots of kids were bigger than me as I’m only 5’5. But they respected me.
     
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  23. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I’m just lucky, I guess. It is something that happens out of nowhere and I am completely blind-sighted each time.

    I, too, let students know that I have boundaries and some of them just flat out ignore them. For example, one male student during after-school tutoring recently just wrapped his hand around my wrist and smiled. This was completely random and I had no way of expecting it. I said, “O-kay. Don’t do that again.” and pulled my hand loose from his grasp. He just chuckled and we went on with the session. I mean, what am I to do here?

    Another thing that irks me: Imagine you’re tutoring a small group of students and they are all standing at the white board behind you. You turn your back for but a moment to finish writing at the whiteboard and then turn around, only to find they are all around you, merely inches from you on all three sides. THIS kind of nonsense is what I have to deal with routinely and it is frankly bizarre.

    I even once had a parent who thought I turned her son gay in my second year because of his antics. She was a little irate that her “perfect” son kept getting reported on by me. This culminated in a meeting with her, myself, and my principal all present. When the mother accused me of converting her son, this is what I had to say: “Really?! Excuse you, madam! Are you nuts? Exactly what does that even mean that I converted your son?!” My principal just stood there with her mouth open as I just unloaded on the parent. Normally, I am strictly professional, but that was outrageous and I have never been more uncomfortable in my life than I was in that meeting.

    The best part: The same mother later emailed the principal following our meeting, inquiring if I gave her son an STI and she was very specific about a certain one! (Guess what she was insinuating happened between us...) As you can imagine, I was absolutely furious and threatened legal action if she didn’t cease and desist.

    She withdrew her son soon after and cited “predators in the school” in our exit survey...!

    To the OP, you might think the grass is greener on the other side until you jump over the fence and realize it’s AstroTurf.
     
  24. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    Honestly man your issue is nothing like mine. It sounds like you’re being bullied by students - I don’t mean to sound harsh but that’s how it sounds to me. I think you should open a separate thread to get suggestions because I don’t see any parallels with my situation.
     
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  25. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    My case certainly is more severe. Truthfully, I don’t feel bullied as I don’t detect malice from the students if that makes sense. They just like pressing boundaries and it gets out of hand. I think that they don’t actually realize what they are doing because they do these kinds of things to each other — it doesn’t excuse what they do, but I’ve seen them pull this kind of nonsense to get reactions out of peers. Maybe I am being bullied, I don’t know, but I would like to think it is getting better as time goes on.
     
  26. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    Mine is one kid who likes me, yours is a bunch of kids who randomly invade your space. It makes no sense that the athletes are doing that unless they are all gay? I guess things have changed since I played sports.
     
  27. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I'm just really big on respect. I can't imagine being bullied by kids. I honestly think that since there wasn't a precedent set from day one, they'll continue to do this until there's some sort of (major) admin intervention. Did you get bullied when you were younger, too?

    What you said about hoping things will get better as time goes on reminds me of what battered spouses say after getting abused. :/
     
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  28. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Oof. I was picked on lightly through most of my youth because I have always been short and “cuddly.” People would tickle me, play with my wavy hair, massage my shoulders randomly, sit very close to me, flick things at me, etc. They just do it naturally and I don’t know why. I don’t even think I’m that great or interesting.

    I understand math. I don’t understand people.
     
  29. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I mentioned this very thing, tactfully of course, and they said, “you look like a girl and so it’s not gay.” :confused:

    That was a real confident killer, lol...
     
  30. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    If you are okay with friends doing this, that's fine. Allowing your students to engage in some of the behaviours you describe is not appropriate. They are crossing the line of acceptable behaviour and are well into harassment territory.
     
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  31. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    It's so bizarre, though. I mean, how does it get to this point? I would really have to think (as an admin) about how to tackle this--especially since it has been happening for years.

    Regardless of whether you look like a girl or have feminine features, none of what has happened is okay.

    You should really let your boss know what's going on. What if the boys say that you're the one who has touched them?
     
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  32. greendream

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    You have these kinds of outrageous behavior issues at your elite private school? I have never heard of anything like this in my life...
     
  33. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Yep. The students try to get away with things you wouldn’t believe. They may be excellent students, but some of their behavior is frankly bizarre.
     
  34. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I don’t ever allow them to do it. If someone much bigger than you walked up to you and hugged you forcefully, does that mean that you allowed it to happen? I immediately report and have reported each and every occurrence, the students were ultimately disciplined, and their parents were called. I did the best I could given the situation.

    Each new class has had students who do these things. I don’t ever encourage or tolerate them. I tell them to stop each time and they largely do, but there is always someone who pushes the envelope to see how far they can go.

    I cannot occupy someone else’s mind and neither can I commandeer their thoughts. I am consistent with mediating out discipline and enforcing school policy. The vast majority of students are wonderful and don’t cross me, but there are a few stragglers who toe the line and they are the ones I have to be wary of. They are jokesters and do incredibly stupid and asinine things for the shock value it creates. I can’t change that.
     
  35. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Devotee

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    It is SH and I hope you were able to get your principal to assist you!
     
  36. hshistoryteacher

    hshistoryteacher Rookie

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    Still on break! Will post an update in a couple weeks
     
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  37. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Devotee

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    Oh, you are so lucky to be on break! For sure, let me know how things turn out! I am hoping the best for you!
     

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