By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Some topics are tougher to confront than others …and this week has clearly delivered one of those issues.
An Ohio physical education teacher was convicted of having sex, laced with alcohol and drugs, with five students including members of the football team. All of this took place in her home.
In Hanover County, a teacher and his wife, a school nurse, were sentenced to 11 and nine years for having sex with students.
World Net Daily recently published more than two hundred cases of female teachers involved in sexual relationships with students …it called the list the "sexpidemic".
While the legal doctrine of "in loco parentis" has little meaning today…the school serves as parent…there is a clear line that must be drawn between empathy and intimacy.
Education Week has now started a three part series on the issue, "Can teachers be friends with students?" It is preposterous…that we are spending so much time dealing with a topic whose remedy should be first on the teacher's, or anyone working with young people, list of values…first, do no harm.
While it is clear that perversion exists in so many places that we do not expect it, it rarely appears without an announcement. It clears the path with conversation, flirty behavior, and attention. It first talks, then touches, fantasizes, and then…acts!
Perhaps some lesson: Teachers, care for students, but avoid relationships that could be perceived to be intimate. Administrators, make the consequences swift and permanent. Courts, make the penalties "lessons" of the highest degree. And parents, be vigilant…they are always YOUR children.