5.6.15

I just have to rant

The network TLC has gotten a lot of bad press thanks to the presence of child molesters on two shows (ok, one wasn't on the show but he was around the show and dating the mother of a child he molested).  They did the semi-responsible thing and pulled the shows from production; the responsible thing would to have also offered additional counseling to the victims, and to have come out with a strongly worded statement about how disgusting the behavior of these men was.  Even worse, the parents and sisters of the most recent example are defending him.  It just makes my skin crawl.

Years ago, in high school and college, there were teachers/professors we knew were more friendly than they should be, that there were some who had inappropriate relationships with students.  True or not, things were different then and we didn't get as upset about the abuse of position and trust and all that as we do now.  I'm not defending, just sayin'.  I had a friend who was raped, which was a very different thing than a professor having a fling with a student.

Most schools, if not all, have training in two things: how to avoid/be aware of sexual harassment, and what it means to be a mandated reporter.  That means if we see something, we have to say something. Optimally, it means that if you see something or are uncomfortable about something, you can talk to one of the people at school who are empowered to investigate the event (obviously, you can always go to the police or CPS/DCF if it's that serious).  Twice I've seen schools fail this duty.

Once was when a potential candidate came and was teaching a computer science class, cracking jokes about testosterone in the room and generally putting down women.  He continued to do this in other interviews, and one teacher brought the matter to the attention of the appropriate person at the school.  The response? It didn't matter.  Readers, they hired him.  Over the objections of several female faculty based on sexist comments, and several others based on incompetence.

And now there's a teacher who has sent somewhat inappropriate texts and other communications (like posting online) to a student.  The student has told a few adults and was promised something would happen.  One adult lied and said this had been reported to the authorities.  This isn't the first time this person has responded in a questionable manner, and the problem is I really do like them so it's difficult to not say WTF????  Another teacher, one who knows the student far better and has direct knowledge of the communications, reported to the outside authorities, but apparently all this doesn't rise to the level of criminal activity.

Ok, I get that, and I'm not upset about that.  Sleezy and poor judgement aren't criminal.  But that the school doesn't seem to be doing anything else bothers me.  Of course, something could be being done, for example mandated training in appropriate relationships/communications with students.  Or ensuring that this teacher isn't alone with students until everyone is sure that there's no danger to the students.  Or something else.  And you know what?  It's not my business to know what's going on behind the scenes.

What's upsetting is that the teacher who did report and the student are left with the impression that this is not a safe space.  And that's inexcusable.

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