Hot for teacherPosted: May 5, 2014
(Apologies for the title, which might undermine the general thrust of the post, but it’s rather late, and I couldn’t come up with anything better)
There’s always a massive difference in the way stories of teacher-student relationships are reported or treated. I think a lot of it comes from the assumption that most teenage boys are so horny that they’d quite like the idea of a female teacher showing them the ropes, and there’s an odd respect for them in a blokey, “get in my son!” kinda way. Hell, I’m not denying that as a teenager I had frequent fantasies and daydreams about some of my schoolteachers (Ah, Miss Richards, you almost made Welsh literature bearable) but there’s a difference between fantasy and reality. I also used to fantasize about having sex with all three members of the Sugababes at the same time but I know now it would have been a painfully embarrassing (for me) and disappointing (for them) experience had it happened.
The fact is, a female teacher making advances or abusing her position of trust is just as bad as a male teacher. You’re there to shape young minds, and help them get an education, not to make passes at them. Teenagers are hardly the most emotionally stable bunch, and toying with their feelings or placing them in a position where decisions may have long lasting impact is not cool.
I’m not even sure how it can develop. Looking back at my school days my classmates and I were loud, immature kids, many of whom weren’t even attractive to our peers, why a grown up would look at us with anything other than irritation or sympathy is beyond me.
But it happens. And whether the teacher is male or female, it ain’t good. I know there are examples of couples who stay together for the long haul, but they are the exceptions and I bet it’s still awkward for them for a good long while.
Whatever, I recently saw a story about a teacher in Texas who crossed the line. She didn’t shag the student or anything, and her actions may have been intended as a joke, but if they were it was a horribly misjudged one.
Felicia Smith, 42, decided that she would give one of her students a sixteenth birthday present.
A lap dance.
In front of the entire class.
It frankly boggles the mind that Smith would consider this a good idea or even consider it as an idea, but to go through with it is just unbelievable. For one thing not only is it inappropriate but it’s massively stupid, I mean, that is not going to gain you the respect of your class. You may briefly be the “cool” or “funny” teacher, but the class aren’t going to take you seriously again.
And also, it’s 2014. By now surely everyone is aware of how quickly something can go viral. It would only have taken one student to film the four minute performance (the Huffington Post article sadly doesn’t specify what she danced to, but as a traditionalist I’m hoping she went for Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher”) and Smith would have become the latest dubious internet celebrity.
Thankfully, it appears that nobody did capture it on film which is a good thing, not just for Smith but for the lad in question. I can only imagine how mortifying it must have been for him, and afterwards he probably would have felt uncomfortable with raising any issues he might have with it for fear of ridicule. That’s where I think the gender difference really comes into play, I’ve heard the “if one of my teachers had wanted to shag me, I wouldn’t have complained” argument trotted off. A teenage boy gets the impression that he’s supposed to be constantly ready to go off like a loaded gun, and to express discomfort or vulnerability in the face of sexual attention will make him look like a loser.
And there are other reasons why it might be embarrassing to have your class watch as you get a lap dance.
It sounds as though the boy in this case didn’t seem to mind that much, and even played along, but it’s still a position in which he should never have been placed. How much of this was just teenage bravado?
And if a female student is seduced by a male teacher she may respond to his attentions, it doesn’t make it right, so why should the dude playing along and slapping her ass make a difference? It just seems in this kind of case that the perception is that student-teacher relationships aren’t as serious or potentially harmful when the teacher is female and the student male.
And that’s not right. Any relationship or action where an adult makes sexual overtures to a minor who they are responsible for is dodgy as all hell, regardless of the genders of those involved.
Smith has charged with having an improper relationship with a student, and was at the end of last month on suspension awaiting investigation. Hopefully she will no longer be allowed to teach, because this is definitely not kosher behaviour, and receive some form of punishment.
Jokey or not, this kinda thing shouldn’t be happening.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.