Guest Author - Kelli Deister
This is a sensitive subject, since the topic is about people that are supposed to be supportive of a child, not destructive in their words. Teachers are bound by the mandatory reporting laws, across the United States. In thinking of this topic, I am quickly reminded of the most recent cases of female teachers that seduced young teenage boys. However, I also want to write on the topic of verbal and emotional abuse, coming from some teachers.
In light of the most recent cases of inappropriate touching and molestation against a minor that is male, I am led to try to understand the whys of it all. Obviously, there are no adequate reasons as to why some adult female teachers choose to exploit young men in the throes of puberty. I cannot come to any level of reasoning with this topic. The questions spin around in my mind, as Iím sure they do for others as well. These women seem as though they lack common sense. Itís as though, in their own mind, they do not have the capability to reason in this area. Needless to say, it is extremely disturbing whenever we hear of a female teacher seducing or molesting a minor male.
Another area of child abuse that I believe isnít spoken of enough, is that of verbal and emotional abuse. How many of us remember gym class and the necessity of having to climb a rope, in order to pass through their participation. Perhaps there is a child that cannot climb a rope, for various reasons. When the teacher begins to single out any child that is struggling to comply, it is wrong. And yes, frankly, it is emotional abuse against the child that is trying to do their best. I have known of a few teachers, in my childhood, that yelled at the child trying their best to climb the rope and when they could not do it, the gym teacher called them names and scolded them in front of the entire gym class. Another activity, besides climbing ropes, is dodge ball. The same scenarios get played out with this activity.
Lastly, I believe that it is unacceptable for the gym teacher to call a student names for whatever reason, especially when it is based on their performances. Not all children are physically or emotionally capable of doing every single requirement. The children that seem to need more attention, extra tutoring, and increased one-to-one methods of teaching, are the very ones that get verbally abused by not only their peers, but sometimes their teacher as well. Names such as stupid, slacker, quitter etc. are unacceptable.
When a teacher takes part in verbally, emotionally, or inappropriately touching or molesting a minor, it is time for them to be removed from their position as teacher. Teachers have a huge responsibility to their students. First of all, there are major trust issues. We all know that child abuse happens in homes across the country; however, what neednít happen is abuse that is perpetrated against the child, by their teacher. School should be a safe place for all students. Teachers have a requirement to report any suspected child abuse for the students in their care.
The bottom line is that teachers do not have only academic requirements, when it comes to a student, but they are also required by law to report any suspected abuse; thus helping to support and protect that child.