The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Van Halen said it best: Hot for Teacher.
Teaching is a profession that has existed long before writing and was done through speeches and conversation. Whether the teacher was male or female, mother or father, or community leader, there were lessons to be learned in farming, cooking, swimming, making and washing clothes, making, modifying, and repairing weapons and tools, and many other specialities that could be taught. The teacher had knowledge that could be passed on down to others for many generations without end.
The teacher is the trusted professional to whom everyone listens and understands. The teacher is entrusted with the students who are there to learn, whether they are adults or children. Teaching was originally a profession dominated by men who taught only men and boys. Girls were not required to learn, as it was expected they were to stay in the home and be wives and mothers. It was not until the 17th and 18th century that countries started allowing girls into the classroom to learn.
In modern times, the education system was established complete with a curriculum in order for teachers to teach basic skills necessary to function and operate in today’s world. The teaching profession today is largely dominated by women and is often seen as a profession for women, unless the institution is for higher education, in which case, the university level is still largely dominated by men.
When parents send their children off to school, they expect their children to learn and the school to maintain that the teacher keeps a professional relationship with the student. This is an unspoken teacher-parent confidentiality that the parent confides in the teacher to do their job. It is also largely expected by the education system that the teacher they hire maintains a professional relationship with the students. The teacher is expected to arrive at work, just as the student is expected to arrive at school, and the teacher is expected to teach for up to 7½ to 8 hours a day, while the student is expected to learn for about 7½ to 8 hours a day. Sometimes, however, the student-teacher relationship goes beyond normal behavior, and that is when the trust of the teacher is broken, and the teacher-student relationship is no longer professional.
While the earliest record is unknown when teachers and students began having relationships, it could be expected that there were certainly relationships as early as the Greek teachers having sexual affairs with their students. With the recent media coverage over the last decade, it has been brought to the attention of the public that there are many teachers who begin having sexual relationships with their students. They are often caught because the student usually tells their friends or is discovered by their parents or other authority figures.
The majority of schools and higher education institutions do have policies in place that prevent teachers and students from dating or conducting a relationship other than that of a student and that of a teacher. These policies are in place in order to prevent the law from being broken. When this policy is ignored by the teacher, there are dire legal consequences. When a teacher dates or has a sexual relationship with a student in the United States, the act is illegal and the teacher must register as a sex offender. They also risk losing their license certificate to teach in the United States permanently.
While there have been a fair share number of male teachers who have become sexual offenders because they broke the law, there have been a rising number of female teachers who have been having sexual relationships with their students. Whether male or female, the behavior is unacceptable. A majority of these stories do not end well. Some of these relationships may start and go on for years before any information about the relationship is discovered. Due to the student being underage at the time the relationship started, the teacher remains guilty. There has been a few recorded cases of the female teacher serving jail time, but still ending up with the student. Most cases, however, end up in jail time, a lost opportunity to ever be a teacher again, and an embarrassment to the family, as well as having to report as a sexual offender wherever the former teacher ends up moving. The former teacher must also answer the dreaded question on every job application: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” The record for this kind of crime can never be expunged and will remain for life. The student has no idea about the legalities of the relationship and that it is wrong, but the student may clearly want to have sex with the teacher. There are really no repercussions for the student and the student often receives nothing more than a high-five from his friends and the honor of having had sex with his or her teacher, and the occasional traumatic experience brought on by all the media attention.
There are probably a large number of cases that go unreported and are never found out. The relationship is kept completely secret, no one ever finds out, and life goes on. For these teachers and students, they have pulled off the ultimate fantasy of being able to have a secret sexual relationship.
What makes these teachers, who are often very attractive, violate school policy and break the law do what they do? Why are they willing to risk their professional careers in favor of sex that probably lasts no more than a few minutes? The teachers who have sex with their students are usually desperate and feel as if they are getting older, less attractive, and turn to the place where they get most of the attention throughout the day. They may not be thinking straight at all. After all, what woman wants to explain to her friends and family, “I met my boyfriend in elementary school while teaching his class.” Sounds like it would be coming from a mentally ill person who should not be teaching in the first place.
Perhaps it is the maturity level of the teachers who may often be clinging to a life when they were younger, able to party, and had a more fun and interesting life. The teacher may have no respect for themselves. The sexual relationship may bring on new adventure, drama, and a series of passionate emotions. These teachers may just love the attention which they lack in their own personal lives, desiring a boyfriend, or having troubles at home with their husband. Maybe it is the power of sex or the fact that the relationship is wrong and both the teacher and student know it, but pursue it anyway. The answers are never quite clear. The blame may just lie in our underlying sexual desires.
The education system can only put trust in teachers and do their best to monitor the activities of the teacher throughout the day. However, once off duty, the school may not have any rights to pry into the lives of their teachers. They may only do as they have continued to do and ensure to upkeep strict priorities are followed. The education system technically can only be held responsible for what happens on school grounds, not anything that happens in the personal life of the teachers and the students. The blame lies solely with the teacher who has the choice to follow those rules and continue to be a professional. Once the teacher ignores the policies in place, the teacher has broken the law and is subject to the laws and penalties of the United States and other countries where teacher-student relationships are forbidden and illegal.
If you are a teacher and considering having sex with your student who is underage, reconsider your life choices. You will be throwing away much of what you have worked for up to this point in your life. You will never have a career in teaching again and you will never be able to work with children again. Your reputation with your friends and family will be severed. You will have to register as a sex offender and face the possibility of serving jail time, along with other fines.
Focus on your career and your professionalism. Do not wear anything that would be considered sexy, sexual, sexually revealing, or sexually suggestive. You may even want to avoid outfits that make you look cute. If you are lacking something in your life, the only thing that should come from the classroom is the reward in knowing that your students are learning from the knowledge you are teaching them. No student is worth ruining your own life. No student is that great at sex that you will think that it was all worth it. Respect the law. Respect yourself. Respect your profession. Know that you are a person of authority and are to be respected. If you are thinking about having sex with your student, just don’t do it, no matter how horny you are.