Is your educator crossing the line?
The role of an educator is to help you reach your academic potential and perform at school. However, some educators take advantage of their position and make learners feel uncomfortable. Here are signs that your educator may be crossing the line.
Physical and verbal abuse
Insulting and humiliating learners in and outside of the classroom is a form of verbal abuse. While teachers were allowed to enforce physical discipline (such as spanking or giving a hiding) in the past, this is no longer the case. There should be mutual respect between teachers and learners, where learners are able to approach the teacher when they need help.
Part of being a teacher is helping learners become more confident in their abilities. Your educator shouldn’t make you feel small or embarrass you, even if you are struggling with a specific subject.
Making any comments of a sexual nature towards a student is against the law and any school’s code of conduct. If your teacher touches or speaks to you inappropriately, you are within your rights to report them to your principle or your district department of education.
Teachers and learners are not supposed to be in any romantic relationship with each other. A teacher who asks a learner out or pursues a romantic relationship with them is taking advantage of their position of power as an educator and should be reported immediately. Even if the learner welcomes this relationship, it is not lawful and should it become sexual, the teacher may be charged with statutory rape, if the learner is under the age of consent.
Getting help if your teacher crosses the line
If your teacher does any of the things I’ve mentioned, you can talk to a teacher you trust or a school counsellor if one is available. You can also talk to your parents or school principle. You can also follow these steps to report your teacher to the Department of Education.
Your teachers need to be respectful of you as a learner in the same way that you show them respect as an authority. Teachers should not make school an uncomfortable or even scary experience, and if this does happen, then you can follow the steps above.
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