Inappropriate Sexual Touching

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Canadian Gal, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 15, 2009

    Several of my male students seem to have no problems with gropping some of the girls in my class. This, coupled with inappropriate web searches, inappropriate sexual jokes, and general teenage hormones, has me concerned. I have an administration that is generally supportive.

    However, my all male administration seems to think that this is a case of "boys being boys". I disagree. Anytime you think its okay to touch someone sexually who does not want to be touched that way, or to offer to get them "off" when they talk about needing help getting off the bus because of an injury, or tell them that you have a job for them but it "blows" with accompanying gestures, is NOT boys being boys.

    To me, this needs to STOP. NOW. I am concerned that if I go to the police, I will lose the opportunity for tenure. My administration has told me to talk to the boys, but I feel uncomfortable doing so, as some of their comments have made me feel sexually harassed in my own classroom. Where do I go from here? I'm lost.

    I was sexually assaulted when I was in high school, and the police made me feel so badly that I chose not to press charges, because they had me convinced that my family would blame me for what happened. I've been a victim, so I take this issue EXTREMELY seriously.

    My girls don't feel safe coming to school. I want to be their advocate, but I don't want to lose my job. What can I do?
     
  2.  
  3. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 15, 2009

    I wish someone who had viewed this thread would say something. I am starting to feel as though I am taking this too seriously.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,291
    Likes Received:
    121

    Dec 15, 2009

    Not unsympathetic, but I don't have any real advice - can you enlist one of your more supportive male administrators to come in and talk to them about mature behavior?
     
  5. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 15, 2009

    I'd be documenting exactly what is going on. Time, day, who is involved, what was going on, and any actions you took. Beyond that, I'm at a loss too. Some others will chime in soon, I'm sure. I think you should take this seriously and am glad you are not settling with your admins lack of concern.
     
  6. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 15, 2009

    Not sure your grade level, but could you contact parents? I agree that this is not acceptable behavior. There is a line between flirting and harassment and it sounds like these boys are crossing it.
     
  7. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 16, 2009

    I'm shocked that the admins are not pulling these kids into the office along with a police officer. I'm sorry, but groping???? And no one is pressing charges????? I see how you are afraid, but kids need to feel safe coming to school. I hate bullies and people who make going to school miserable. I would pursue this all I can with the families and probably police.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 16, 2009

    It seems to me that if they don't do something about it, it's only going to get worse. They'll have a huge PR nightmare on their hands, and that won't be the worst part of it.

    You say you're uncomfortable in your own classroom... have you communicated that to your adminstration??

    Would you consider going above their heads, to the district?

    Or encouraging the girls to have their parents be more vocal, writing letters to both the school and district adminsitration? Threatening to go to the papers &/or police?

    I think, at the very least, I would have a conversation with all my classes. I would let them know that I've noticed what's going on, and that it's not only inappropriate, it's illegal. And I would tell the girls, in the hearing of the boys, that if they are victimized, their parents should contact both the school and the police. That a police report will be filed and so on. That you, as a mandated reporter, are legally bound to report any instances of sexual abuse you're aware of.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Dec 16, 2009

    In a few more years, the boys can be charged for their behaviour--it's serious! Is there a male staff member who will sit in a meeting with you? I agree that you shouldn't meet with the boys alone. It's early, and I'm not quite awake yet, but this needs to be stopped in its tracks. Let me get back to you after I've had a few sips of coffee.
     
  10. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 16, 2009

    It is completely inappropriate. I am shocked that your school is not supporting you. I would talk to your union representative and document everything. You don't want to be blamed for not doing anything down the road. I teach at a small rural school with lots of "good old boys" and groping would be an automatic in school suspension. Comments would get at least a detention. What does your school handbook say about bullying/harassment? Good luck with this!
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Dec 16, 2009

    I've been thinking about this all the way to school. It doesn't involve me at all and I'm furious! It is absolutely inexcusable for a situation to exist where students are afraid to come to school. I would arrange a meeting with your administrators (if you are a member of a union have your union rep present as well) and present them with a record of comments made by the boys in question, what you have done about the situation and their reaction to you. Have the girls write "victim impact" statements and present these to the administration as well. In the meeting, state what you would like to see happen and what you will do if it doesn't--"I would like you to talk with these boys and their parents and give severe consequences. If you aren't willing to do that, I'm going to encourage the girls' parents to file a police report. This is sexual harassment and possible molestation; it is a crime and I can't stand by and allow it to happen." Encourage the girls and their parents to meet with administration as well. I understand your concerns about your job, but I don't think you can let this go.
     
  12. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Dec 16, 2009

    Do they do this in other classes, too? If a group of teachers got together the administration would have to listen. Or, at least you could come up with a strategy.

    You are not over-reacting.
     
  13. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,740
    Likes Received:
    1,696

    Dec 16, 2009

    I'm not sure if the administration not acting on this is a cultural thing in your country, or just related to your school. In my district, children get expelled every month for sexual harassment. They are arrested if there has been unwanted touching. I would advise you to pursue every means possible to protect the children in your care. You may have to make the terrible choice of putting your tenure in jeopardy to get some help. What a horrible position you have been placed in!!
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Dec 16, 2009

    I can assure you, beckysuek, that sexual harassment is not a culturally accepted thing in Canada. It seems as though this is more a case of a particular administration not taking this behaviour seriously and hoping that by ignoring it it will go away.
     
  15. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 16, 2009

    One of the wisest words uttered by a modern fiction character are "There will come a time when we must choose between what is right, and what is easy".

    I think you're there. Other posters have given very sensible advise. I'd follow their advise, and if it doesn't get you anywhere, screw tenure. Stand up for these girls. Let them see somebody willing to fight for them, even if it means they lose something significant. Think about how you would have felt if somebody did that for you.
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,740
    Likes Received:
    1,696

    Dec 16, 2009

    Do you have rules in your schools that hold administrations accountable for things like this? And is there a higher authority that you can go to if tenure is withheld because you chose to do something? If not, all of us here will come up there and stand with you! :mad:(at your administration)
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 16, 2009

    I know I have to be reading this wrong, so please forgive me. But I've re-read it several times, and cannot find a way that it's not grossy offensive to all our Canadian friends.

    I think we can all safely assume that sexual harassment is culturally unacceptable in most civilized societies, Canada included. And that administrations are urged to make that fact known to kids and faculties alike.

    Are some lax? In Canada as in the US, probably.

    But I think it's safe to assume that it's not because of cultural norms.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Dec 16, 2009

    I'm sorry, this is really hitting a sore spot with me. Of course we have rules here that ensure that issues like this one are dealt with. As with everything, however, the extent to which administration becomes involves in investigating and taking a stand depends upon the individuals involved, not on the laws of the land or the cultural norms. In every country, in every job, there are those who take their responsibilities seriously and those who don't, those who will do what is right at all costs and those who prefer to take the easy way, those who use positions of authority appropriately and those who abuse it. This is not an issue of what is acceptable in Canada, but, rather, an issue of an administrator not doing his job (a rather common theme in many posts by many members here at A to Z).
     
  19. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    204

    Dec 16, 2009

    To not take serious action on this is a disservice to the boys as well as the girls.

    Many of the social skills needed to survive in the workplace are first learned in school. Therefore, it is vital for the boys who are engaging in this behavior to learn (in a very harsh, unpleasant, and difficult manner, if necessary) that what they are doing is not acceptable. Otherwise, they will eventually carry this behavior into the workplace as adults and end unemployed and unemployable.

    Whenever I see one of our students (even the little ones) doing something that would get them fired from a job as an adult, I am very quick to take them to task for it.
     
  20. s103103

    s103103 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 16, 2009

    "Boys being boys" means some occasional roughhousing, maybe the infrequent bad word or sneaky behavior, even cheeky and conceited remarks and competitiveness fall into that category of "boys being boys." Its the kind of stuff that evokes a laugh, does not harm others, is not out of hand, and is generally innocent behavior.

    "Boys being boys" does NOT mean inappropriately touching any other student (whether girl or boy), does NOT mean groping in any form whatsoever, and does NOT mean violating the acceptable use policy for computers in your school. Those things are NEVER allowed.

    Sounds like you've got at least three avenues to document this on paper using the appropriate discipline/incident reports, to notify school counselors, to also notify parents, and also notify your school resource officer.
     
  21. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    5

    Dec 19, 2009

    It's completely unacceptable. I also don't see how they can deny you tenure because you advocate for your students. If it DOES happen, this seems like a situation where your teachers' association would back you 100%.

    If administration is not willing to step in, could you get guidance involved?
     
  22. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,882
    Likes Received:
    159

    Dec 19, 2009

    I just saw this thread now. First of all CG, I'm sorry about your own experience when you were in HS. No one deserves that.

    This is completely unacceptable & it makes me sick to know that these high school punk boys think they can get away w/ this BS! What's next, a gang rape where they all vow to stay hush-hush?! :mad: Now, if that happens, then the admin will all be looking stupid wondering how this could have possibly hapenened (idiots!) The adult male admin who are so laxed about it are probably not living so morally themselves in their own personal lives, otherwise, they'd have much higher standards.

    Where are all the women who are in high positions at your school & district? Isn't there something they can do? Maybe if you tell them all, "Does a rape have to happen before anyone does anything?" Maybe that will make them think. Apparently they're all too stupid to know that all this kind of boy behavior could lead to this.

    Keep talking, nicely, yet firmly until somebody listens. I'd also encourage all the girls being haraassed to alert their parents & be ready to take legal action to stop this.

    I know if I was one of the girls being harassed, my family would support me 100% & no police or anyone else would bully me & my family out of getting the justice I deserve.
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 19, 2009

    The next time a girl is touched I'd call home that afternoon and take the "I know your daughter will be coming to you in regards to the incident at school today as I'm sure she's upset, so I just wanted to touch base with you" approach. Let the parents know you have informed the administrators and advise the parents to contact the office in the morning for an update. Then in the afternoon, once again call home to get your own update from the parents' perspective. Even if a parent might consider letting it go as one-time "boys will be boys" occurence, having you call twice will allow them to understand how serious you think it is, and hopefully they will agree...
     
  24. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,882
    Likes Received:
    159

    Dec 19, 2009

    I agree w/ JustMe too. Some of these girls may not have even mentioned this whole ugly situation to their parents because they think they'll be blamed & so they figure there's no point to tell them. These girls & their families need to know that they're not alone in this & they are supported.
     
  25. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,305
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 19, 2009

    Your administration must watch all the nasty moves that "boys/men" make on girls/women" on music videos and think this is fine, natural, ok. Well, it's NOT. I find it disgusting and inappropriate that the music media, singers, etc...think it's ok to behave this way and treat women like things and/or garbage.
    And women who allow men to treat them like this are just as wrong.

    Your girls need an advocate; I think that's you, Canadian Gal. I know you're between a rock and a hard place and I feel for you. :hugs:
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Dec 19, 2009

    CG- It's not ok that your administration isn't taking this behavior seriously. In the United States there are very serious laws dealing with sexual harassment- which this is. School boards have been held liable for 'looking the other way' in such incidents. What are your local laws/policies regarding this? If your administration will not deal with it, report it to the proper agencies yourself.
     
  27. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Dec 19, 2009

    Yes.
     
  28. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 19, 2009

    JustMe has a fabulous idea. I think if I were in the position of your students as a high school student, I would never have told my parents. I think it would be a wise decision to talk to the parents and get them involved just as JustMe suggested. Good luck, I am glad you are taking this seriously. This is absolutely wrong and nobody should be afraid to go to school or to be in the classroom. You should never feel that way either. Something needs to be done not only about your students, but also about you. That is not okay for the students to make you feel that way in your classroom. You need to continue going to administration and let this complaint about how you feel in your own room be heard and something be done for you and your kids. Best wishes. Keep us posted.
     
  29. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Dec 19, 2009

    I just finished 3 weeks of subbing 8th grade. I was SHOCKED at how openly the kids pushed the sexual boundaries with each other. I'm not talking about teasing and flirting, which is natural at this age. I'm talking about derogatory language and innuendos FAR beyond their maturity level. It's very sad that they've been so overexposed to adult material that they have no sense of propriety.
     
  30. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,164
    Likes Received:
    174

    Dec 19, 2009

    Why would you be worried about tenure? Does anyone really want to work for a district/school which turns a blind eye to abuse and sexual harassment? Districts I've visited (CA) have rules and consequences addressing student conduct under "Reasons for Pupil Suspension". Sexual harassment is a teacher suspension and does not require involving administration (except to suspend off campus).
     
  31. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 4, 2010

    I have seriously risked tenure since this started. I tore my boys to shreds, not blaming all of them, but spelling it out for them, that this behaviour is inappropriate, and I would not tolerate it. I spoke to our guidance and the police are coming in January (if I am still employed). The fact is, where I am, its the girls word against the boys. Only one of my EA's has witnessed the behaviour. The rest is all hearsay.

    I HATE that this is happening. I don't think I will be teaching much longer as a result.
     
  32. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 4, 2010

    Why isn't that enough?

    I'm sorry for the toll this is taking, but know that you are doing the right thing for every one of the kids involved in this.
     
  33. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 4, 2010

    You don't have to be alone in this endeavor, get the girls parents invovled!
     
  34. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 4, 2010

    You're doing the right thing. Nobody ever said that it was going to be easy. At least you can sleep at night knowing that those girls have somebody looking out for them.
     
  35. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 4, 2010

    How can your job be at stake, when you are looking out for your kids?
     
  36. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    4,896
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jan 4, 2010

    Have you contacted your union for advice?
     
  37. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    7,507
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 4, 2010

    Huge hugs CanadianGal. I can't imagine what you are going through. I hope your administration wises up and does something now and makes sure you keep your job. In all honesty (as much as this job market sucks), I don't know if I'd want to work for a place that didn't support me or my students in a situation like this.

    :hugs:
     
  38. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,882
    Likes Received:
    159

    Jan 4, 2010

    That's what I'm wondering as well. If a teacher's job was at stake for protecting their students, a lot of other teachers may turn a blind eye to serious issues, like abuse at home (which we have to report by law & other issues). And that isn't right.

    Thanks for the update. I was wondering what became of your situation. Continue to keep us posted. :)
     
  39. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 18, 2010

    Sorry I haven't been around. I've been dealing with fallout. It hasn't been pretty. I read the Criminal Code of Canada to my male students, and a parent complained that I was out of line, because the boys didn't mean anything by it. I am now on probation, because my new super hates my guts as it is, thanks to the Dad who writes monthly letters complaining about his child's teachers. Since I teach 5 classes to his son, I figure prominently in all of them.

    This is the end of my teaching career I have a feeling, because I refuse to do this to myself anymore.
     
  40. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 18, 2010

    To add, since I am clearing my mind - Canada has no sexual harassment laws. Just company policies. As long as my admin refuses to do anything, there is nothing that can be done, legally, unless it can be coined as criminal harassment. None of the boys have gotten to that point yet, so I have come off as looking like an alarmist.
     
  41. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 18, 2010

    :hugs:

    Keep fighting for those girls. You know what they say...good girls never make history. I can't wrap my mind around not having any sexual harrassment laws. Maybe you'll find a new career as a lobbyist.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. tuankiet153,
  2. Substitutemw,
  3. miss-m,
  4. vickilyn
Total: 270 (members: 6, guests: 243, robots: 21)
test